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Diary of a business centre manager: supporting customers through the coronavirus lockdown

Diary of a business centre manager: supporting customers through the coronavirus lockdown
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Diary of a business centre manager: supporting customers through the coronavirus lockdown
Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space by Siobhan Stirling - Sharp Minds Communications for Capital Space
Owner/Director - Sharp Minds Communications Ltd

Working through the coronavirus pandemic has been no easy task for anyone, including small- and medium-sized-business owners. The unpredictability has made it hard to know what course of action might be best for your business, with government announcements often raising as many questions as answers. Our business centre management teams have been working hard – remotely – to support our customers. We caught up with Matt Roberts, Capital Space centre manager in Milton Keynes, to find out how his role has developed during lockdown.

A busy time for our business centre management teams

With most of our 700 business customers at our nine business centres across the South East working from home, you may think that our centre management teams have not had much to do during the lockdown. But our role has always been to play a pivotal role in supporting our customers in their business success, and this has arguably been more important during the current crisis, which has created uncertainty for businesses of all shapes and sizes.

Supporting Capital Space business centre customers through the coronavirus lockdown

“The key to assisting our customers during this time has been communication,” says Matt, manager of Milton Keynes Business Centre. “We keep in touch with our SME owners often to alleviate any anxiety they may be experiencing, sending out regular email updates every three to five days with information about any developments that may affect them and their staff.”

Key to being able to reduce uncertainty for our clients has been collating the answers to their queries about the fast-changing situation. Matt has kept in regular contact with Milton Keynes Council’s rates department, enabling him to collect all the necessary information about the grants application process in order to let customers know in plenty of time.

“The day before the scheme went live, I sent all our customers the government link for the grant procedure with clear instructions on how to apply,” explains Matt. “The process had seemed a bit daunting at first, with limited information. I worked to make sure it was as easy as possible for our customers, putting them at an advantage; I’m pleased to say that many of them have been successful in their applications.”

Getting it right in challenging circumstances

This is an unprecedented situation, in which we’ve all had to rethink our operations and communications as we go along. It’s uniquely challenging, and has called for a new level of support and a new tone of voice.

“I’ve worked very hard to make sure that we don’t give one-size-fits-all responses; although all businesses fall into three or four categories as to how they have been impacted by the lockdown, the exact ramifications are unique to each, depending upon their size, their client base, the circumstances of their staff and so on. So, my priority has been to make sure every customer is heard to give as much reassurance as possible during this difficult time,” comments Matt. “It’s never been a nine-to-five job, but even less so in these times. It’s of upmost importance to us that all of our customers feel as supported as possible.”

Matt’s dedication to his role, combined with the support of the centre management team, has led to a wealth of appreciative testimonials from his onsite customers.

“A big thank you to Matt and the team at Milton Keynes – always helpful and supportive, from the first day of coronavirus affecting our business. All my emails, phone calls and many questions have been answered straight away and carefully by them; they have helped me to stay positive and my business to survive so far.” - Paris from Fabulous Beauty Salon
 “Thank you Matt – really appreciate you being on top of things.” - Amy from Lucky Spoon

The dedication of our Capital Space business centre teams has helped to provide some clarity for our customers throughout this pandemic. They will continue to keep working hard to answer our customers’ questions and to filter relevant information to them to help them make the best choices to put their businesses in as strong a position as possible both during the lockdown and when things begin to return to normal.

   To find out how  Capital Space virtual offices or business premises

could benefit your growing business,

call 0800 107 3667