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Stop for a CX moment—actionable advice from industry leaders

As we gradually adjust to the nuances and complexities of this “new normal”, businesses are focusing less on how to stay afloat and more on what could be around the bend. We’re diving back into Zendesk’s CX Moments series, where industry leaders from different organizations discuss common challenges, along with tips and tricks for making the most of the current situation.

Here are four pieces of actionable advice from CX industry leaders.

Lyra Health: Prioritize mental health

For Lyra Health, a company that provides analytics and screening tools in regards to behavioral health care, shining a light on mental health is business as usual. Nina Levin, director of Provider Relations and Patient Support, notes how important it is for managers to check in on their employees—especially the ones who live alone. “Even if the world has changed, even if the nature of work has changed for all of us, the nature of caring for your employees and coworkers shouldn’t change,” she says.

When it comes to taking care of your customers and employees, don’t hold back. At the end of the day, we are all humans living through a global crisis, and mental health and wellness needs to be a big priority. Levin adds, “We find comfort in being with our loved ones, we find comfort being in the presence of somebody who's listening to us, who's actively present...The deep sort of tragedy and complication of this crisis is that's the one thing you can't do.”

When it comes to taking care of your customers and employees, don't hold back. At the end of the day, we are all humans living through a global crisis, and mental health and wellness needs to be a big priority.

Levin offers tips for encouraging your team to keep their heads up. She adds that you should continue to have conversations with your employees about their goals and what they’re looking for when it comes to their future at the company. Discussing promotion cycles and career growth can help remind people that there’s a light at the end of the tunnel to look towards.

Wantable and Birchbox: Transparency is key

For many businesses, shifting top priorities was a knee-jerk reaction when shelter-in-place orders were extended. Rather than wait for a return to business as usual to take action, companies like Wantable, an e-commerce company that curates luxury goods for customers, and Birchbox, a monthly subscription service for beauty products, knew that a little more empathy for customers would go a long way.

As predictable and unpredictable challenges have emerged during this time, both Tiffany Cooley, CMO at Wantable, and Leanna Nazzisi, customer operations manager at Birchbox, saw that offering a more flexible method for communication without being prompted to do so gives your team the ability to keep up with customer concerns. Nazzisi notes that "asking [customers] what they need, rather than telling them, 'Here's what we can do,'" can help to build and maintain a feeling of community and humility.

[Related read: Stop for a CX moment—4 lessons from leaders guiding their teams through change]

Etsy: Make the most of every (unexpected) opportunity

Being able to refocus your attention and energy quickly can have quite the snowball effect. For Etsy, a global online marketplace for creative goods, CFO Rachel Glaser explains that the pandemic affected sellers and buyers a little differently than it did for other businesses. With a shortage of masks available for members of the public to purchase, Etsy sellers were able to pivot almost immediately to produce and sell various types of face coverings. Many sellers on Etsy weren’t worried about a drop in sales because the demand for masks was overwhelming—as a result, Etsy was up 130 percent in sales in April.

While not every problem can be predicted, thinking creatively and adopting a change-ready mindset can help your business pivot quickly when it counts most.

Unexpected profit means new opportunities for growth. "When we were doing our regular planning process, we might have had the pressure of delivering a certain level of sales...Now we have the opportunity to invest in some other things that are maybe a longer-term payback,” said Glaser. While not every problem can be predicted, thinking creatively and adopting a change-ready mindset can help your business pivot quickly when it counts most.

Harry’s: Keep the lines of communication wide open

For many of us, conversations around self-care and mental health became more important or prevalent as we began sheltering in place. But for Harry’s, which sells men's grooming and shaving supplies, self-care and mental health were two sides of the same coin. Encouraging men to take a closer look at their mental health in the form of self-care became a top priority, according to Nick Martin, manager of customer experience for Harry’s. “Having a conversation about self-care is actually close to having a conversation about mental health...We’re just having that conversation more often, which is the start that men need right now,” says Martin.

Martin also recommends providing even more opportunities and channels for your customers to reach you—and making life just a little bit easier by taking the burden of initiating contact off of them.

Taking care of support employees is important, too. Implementing company-wide mental health days can encourage employees to take some much-needed time away from work that they otherwise might be hesitant to request—therefore keeping your teams feeling upbeat, recharged, and better equipped to avoid burnout.

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