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  • Writer's pictureJim K

Service in a Covid World

The global pandemic has caused so much disruption in our lives. Perhaps like nothing else in our lifetimes. From quarantines, shut downs and mask mandates, to testing, CDC announcements and vaccine confusion, from the beginning, the messaging has been never been easy to know what to do. The service industry has been impacted too. From Karens and Kens who want to push the boundaries of the rules set in place, to employees who may not feel supported or equipped to deal with this new level of customers anymore, Covid-19 has definitely changed the way service is delivered.

Leadership has had to come up with new, creative ways to work with a more demanding level of customer, and front-line workers have had to make hard decisions on whether or not they want to take on the added stress of these more demanding and in some cases, dangerous situations. So much footage has surfaced in the past two years where customers have opted to take out their frustration and anger on a front-line worker who is simply trying to enforce the rules of the organization. Airline stewards have been verbally and physically abused on flights trying to enforce a mask mandate.

To be successful, leadership must make it a priority to set rules in place, and meet the needs of their customers, how ever bizarre they may be. At the same time, leadership must also prioritize the protection and support of their front line workers. Does your organization have a clearly defined set of priorities that helps your employees make decisions and feel supported at the same time? It seems that now is a good time to take a new look at how employees are being treated and the specific response your organization has to those customers who become unruly, out of control and break the rules. Can you work with these customers? Or in some cases, is it time to say good-bye to them permanently? What are your thoughts?

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