COVID-19 has caused a great amount of stress on UK businesses. Many establishments have been forced to adapt in order to survive, especially during local and national lockdowns.
You may find it difficult to navigate the troublesome world of pausing routine contracts like Waste Management or other forms of regular servicing, so we’ve created this article to provide some tips on how to halt and resume services around closure.
We know it can seem impossible to anticipate the government’s next decision, but getting reliable information as early as possible will help you to prepare your business.
The more notice you can give to your supplier, the better – so keep your eye on reputable news sources to ensure you’re on the ball for the next important announcement.
The government website is an excellent resource for summaries of the rules associated with current measures, so check it out to find out what’s applicable to your business.
Maintain A Good Line of Communication with Your Provider
There’s nothing more frustrating than not being able to get help when you most need it.
Make sure you have an immediate form of contact with your provider, like a direct phone number or email address (failing that, ensure you at least have a postal address and use first class stamps for correspondence). Remember to regularly check your junk folder and voicemail to guarantee you don’t miss out on important communication.
It’s even better to have someone on the other end who properly knows your requirements. If possible, try to establish your own account manager, so you can communicate with the same person for each time you need help. This isn’t always feasible, but it’s good practice to hold on to a relationship established with a member of the relevant team (so save any direct email addresses or phone extensions you come across).
Keep a Record of Requests
If you feel like you’re being treated unfairly by your provider then it’s important to keep evidence of this.
Maintain a record of your correspondence with the provider, including times, dates, what was discussed and who it was discussed with.
This way, when it comes to seeking help, you can outline all the efforts made on your part to ensure things were dealt with properly.
Remember, COVID-19 is affecting us ALL. You may feel frustrated at your provider, especially when it’s difficult to get through to someone or to get your issue resolved quickly, but chances are that the delays are beyond their control.
Lockdowns cause a great amount of stress on all sorts of businesses, so imagine being a supplier having to deal with dozens, hundreds or thousands of requests after a lockdown announcement. Try your best to begin your enquiry with patience and understanding, just as you’d want clients to treat your business.
Sometimes, things don’t go as smoothly as you’d hope. Maybe nobody’s getting back to you after weeks and weeks of enquiries, maybe the solution offered isn’t suitable, maybe you’re just not getting through to the right person. At this juncture, it’s time to escalate the issue.
That could mean requesting to speak to someone in another department, asking for the issue to be raised to a manager, or seeking help from an external party like an ombudsman.
Have Faith in the Process
Fortunately, by this point in the pandemic, a lot of providers have increased the flexibility of their contracts and will be happy to help your business in any way they can.
It’s a frustrating and longwinded time for all, but just know that your supplier will want to keep your business, and so it’s in their best interests to accommodate your needs. If you contact the right people as soon as you can, communicate thoroughly and have plenty of patience, you can massively reduce the stress of halting and resuming services.