We live in an area rich with history, but that doesn’t always mean we enjoy making history. Witnessing the government’s longest shutdown ever is one of those cases.
Because we live in such a federal-government-dense environment, chances are good that you know someone affected by this situation. Maybe you have employees whose spouses have been furloughed. Maybe you lost business because of the shutdown. Maybe you do work for a government agency but can’t do your job. Whatever your connection to the shutdown, one thing is clear: it’s hard on everyone involved.
Under “normal” conditions, taking care of your customers means providing them with quality products, stellar services, and attentive customer service. Under today’s shutdown, taking care of your customers not only means providing your customers with extra compassion, but it also means providing compassion to the members of the community around you, too.
How can you care for your customers and the members of your community affected by the shutdown?
We offer a few suggestions and invite you to share your own experiences or thoughts:
Extend payment deadlines, revise scheduled payments, and waive late fees for those affected by the shutdown. A little grace goes a long way.
Offer free workshops. You’ve got expertise. Why not help enrich the lives of the temporarily furloughed—and help fill their long, stressed days—with a useful skill or insight?
Invite them to a coffee and doughnut social. Sometimes a simple gesture and an empathetic smile can make a huge difference.
Discounts. If you sell directly to federal government employees, help lighten their load with discounted products and services.
Offer free events or services to affected workers. Like offering discounts, but even better.
Organize a food drive. Help keep area food pantries full with a company-wide or community-wide food drive.
Best wishes to all of you affected by the shutdown. We look forward to everyone getting back to business as usual.