Staying connected during a crisis

As the whole nation adapts to new working patterns, be they remote working or furloughing, one telemarketing team is prepared for the changes.

Paula Bates, Managing Director at Toucan Telemarketing, has been prepared for this scenario since the business was born. Working remotely as part of their clients’ teams, Toucan Telemarketing help to acquire face-to-face meetings for sales managers.

“We don’t like to call it working from home,” says Paula. “We like to call it being a remote part of the team.”

Naturally, with the ongoing governmental changes, Paula’s team can no longer focus on arranging face-to-face meetings. They have had to adapt, and are well-positioned on how to advise other remote workforces.

Be sensitive

“It’s a very tense time at the moment,” says Paula. “You hear of people saying they lost 50 per cent of their business over a weekend. A lot of businesses’ first instinct was to lay people off before the government introduced their help schemes.”

With the nationwide tension, Paula advises an empathetic approach for all sales and marketing team members. “We’re not going anywhere – we’re just changing our tactics. We believe strongly in maintaining that rapport with our customers, offering advice and support, and being that voice of the client.”

When it comes to communications, Paula advises changes in language. Everything from a more empathetic tone of voice to deleting scheduled social media posts needs to be considered. We also need to consider how we’re communicating with people at the moment.

“A lot of people won’t be as receptive to phone calls right now. Whether that’s reduced morale or lack of access to proper equipment, it’s better to communicate over email. We’ve advised our teams to do that, and to avoid phrases like ‘pop in’.” We need to support and respect remote relationships with both remote teams and clients right now.

Keeping consistency

Paula also advises that many businesses still need to carry on, regardless of the situation. She cites one client as an example, who targets country clubs with fire doors. “Obviously, their key target market is now shut, but people still need to stay safe. They’ve changed tack and are approaching housing associations instead. They’re also making their message accessible with webinars.”

The Toucan Telemarketing team is even looking after clients whose offices are closed. “We want all our clients to know that we’re still here for them. It’s a trying time, but we need to consider the alternatives to face-to-face conversation.

“Only by carrying on will we emerge from this crisis stronger. Whether that’s using Zoom calls, taking government subsidies or changing our language, we must not give up.

“We’ll always be there for our clients through thick and thin, and we know they would do the same for theirs. We just need to adapt and be responsive to our clients’ needs.”

For more tips on engaging clients during the crisis, contact Toucan Telemarketing.