In today’s remote learning world, kids don’t get a day off anymore, and the snow day has become a home-school day. Experts are all sounding off on things like “Zoom Fatigue” and how remote work is destroying office culture.
There are an equally large number of experts who say the office is dead and commercial real estate faces a reckoning. The parallels between the office and school can be frightening. There’s a commute, a lunch break, and an expected physical attendance where poor punctuality is punishable. Now, in the middle and high school grades, kids go from meeting-to-meeting multiple times a day. If #workfromhome is becoming permanent, what is there to say of #schoolfromhome?
If this hasn’t occurred to you yet, take a moment to wonder how this could affect your business. Will you need to shift your hours of operation? Is your location kid-friendly? Do you offer delivery as a service? Having kids at home has already changed the landscape of how adults react to the world. What have you done within your business to address this?
Here’s a thought: There’s a furniture store called Living Spaces with stores all over the Southwest. They have a built-in childcare section for parents to drop their kids while they wander the store to peruse the furniture offerings. I can picture any big box store like Costco, Target, and Walmart offering this for two reasons:
- Out of necessity, and
- It keeps the parents in the store longer to shop
Plenty of medical practices have a kid section with toys and video games because they realize the value of keeping the kids distracted so the parents can handle paperwork, payments, and sensitive conversations. Does your business offer any of these amenities? Does your competition? It might be time to start thinking of ways to accommodate your clients with kids, as interactions look more and more different.
According to U.S. Census Data, 36 million households have one or more children under 18. That’s 44% of all U.S. households. So, almost half of your potential customers have childcare management needs. How do you view companies you shop with from the lens of a working parent? Your customers are looking at you the same way.
As parents, we are always on. Now, as the pandemic reveals inevitable changes to kids’ lives, they too may need to be on at all times. This will mean that parenting just got a lot more challenging. As business owners, you have enough on your plate as it is. The best way to take advantage of these moments is to build a phenomenal customer experience to set yourself up against the competition.
Building the best customer experience starts with understanding the needs and wants of your customers. The data suggests four or five out of every 10 customers who walk through your door or pick up the phone to deal with the new realities of being a parent. By recognizing this need and adjusting how you interact with your customers, you could be positioning yourself very well against the competition.
People buy from people. How you show your humanity can be the difference between a profitable customer referral and a price war with the guy down the street.