How to Sustain Relationships with Customers and Employees During the COVID-19 Crisis


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On April 23, 2020, CustomerThink’s Advisors came together to support a webinar with tips on how to deal with the COVID-19 crisis. In this post I share my opening comments and highlight some of the content shared by the speakers. I encourage everyone to view the full recording here.

Be safe, and be well. We’ll get through this, together.

Opening Remarks

Hi, this Bob Thompson, Founder of CustomerThink. Thank you for joining us for a special program on how to sustain relationships with your customers and employees during this very challenging time.

About four weeks ago I sent an email to CustomerThink’s Advisors – industry thought leaders who contribute featured articles throughout the year – and I asked them if we could band together and put on a webinar on how to cope with the COVID-19 crisis.

Well, I got a very enthusiastic “yes” from everyone, and since then we’ve worked to develop the program that we’ll share with you today. My goal is that you’ll take away at least one solid idea, and hopefully several, that you can put to use in your business.

Featured Speakers

These are the CustomerThink Advisors you’ll hear from today. I’ll introduce speakers later before their segments, but for now let me say I’m very proud that these professionals collaborate with CustomerThink, and I thank them all sincerely for taking time to add value to our community.

Crisis is the Time for Leadership

Before I bring up our first speaker, I’d like to share one thought.

There’s no question that this is a global crisis. But as Winston Churchill said towards the end of World War II, “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” That led to the formation of the United Nations.

This crisis was created by a virus invisible to the naked eye that has sickened and killed many thousands of people, shuttered businesses, and stimulated stress and even fear.

Yes, it is a crisis, but it’s also an opportunity for leadership.

Leadership in our families.

Leadership in our communities.

Leadership in our government.

And yes, Leadership in our businesses as well.

Great leaders must be empathetic, and they must act.

So my thought is: Don’t hunker down, reach out!

Reach out to your employees, let them know you care, and lead them to a better tomorrow.

Reach out to your customers, listen, and engage in ways that are genuinely helpful.

As Gavin Newsom, the governor of my state of California said, let “meet this moment” together.

Advisor Presentations

Leading off today will be Dave Fish, founder of the CuriosityCX consultancy. He has 20+ years of applied experience in understanding consumer behavior and consulting with Global 50 companies. Dave will be talking about how to turn lemon into… well, I’ll let him explain.

Amanda Davis is founder of the Customer Alignment consultancy in the UK. With 15 years of experience, she helps align customer expectations with the organisation’s culture. Amanda will discuss how to understand and adapt to the new customer normal.

Rick Adams is the founder of, based in Ireland. He is a Customer Success expert with over 25 years of experience, with a passion for helping companies deliver the outcomes customers want. Rick will be talking about why and how to focus on customer retention.

Nancy Porte is VP of Global Customer Experience for Verint, and a Certified Customer Experience Professional (CCXP). On CustomerThink she has been sharing her real-world learnings about creating and managing a CX program. Nancy will explain how to listen to customers at a time when surveys may not be all that welcome.

Bill Price is President of Driva Solutions, which he formed after serving as’s first Global VP of Customer Service. He is a world expert in complex customer service and contact center environments, with over three decades of experience. Bill’s topic is how to keep your remote work force motivated.

Jeremy Watkin is a Product Marketing Manager at 8×8. He has nearly 2 decades of experience leading high-performance teams in the contact center. At CustomerThink he has been sharing practical advice for achieving service excellence with people and technology. His presentation will cover the use of collaboration tools in the contact center.

Chris Ryan, CEO, Fusion Marketing Partners. He has 25 years of experience in B2B marketing, technology, and leadership roles. Chris will share key steps on how to approach customer discovery activities during this difficult period.

Barry Trailer is co-founder of Sales Mastery and has been involved in complex B2B sales for over 30 years. He’s one of leading thinkers about Sales as a Profession (SaaP). And today, Barry is going share some examples of how to use technology to adapt to the selling challenges created by the current crisis.

Thomas Wieberneit is based in New Zealand, and today will be speaking to us from Germany. He helps organisations unlock their potential through digital transformation, including CRM, AI, and many other technologies. Thomas will share some ideas that may help you rethink your current business models to leverage technology in innovative ways.

View the full recording here


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