Camberwell Electrics store owner, Hans Vanderstadt has shared some insight on how the business has been adapting to the new norm, in a recent video interview with Appliance Retailer.

“Adapting is an interesting word because you are trying to make it up as you go. At one stage, it was hourly or daily then it became every two to three days and so on but there is no written book for this,” he said.

“We are getting through it with good communication with our team. Our admin team has been working from home for the last seven weeks, so it’s forced us to use technology to make sure we communicate well with not only the admin team but the sales team and our suppliers.

“Technology has been the big thing and if we had to go through this 10 years ago, it would have been very different. Fortunately, we had set up our business with remote access – phones, computers and other IT including point of sale – so the transition to working from home was relatively easy.

“I know some people struggled because they simply weren’t ready but for us, it was great because we were ready and having people working from home very quickly was quite easy. For customers who were ringing the store, we took messages for them and emailed those to the team and from home they could follow up with those customers and talk to them about their product needs.

“People have been very understanding and tolerant that we had half the team in store and half the team at home. We had alternate days of our team coming into store and now progressively more of the team are coming back in with social distancing practices in place.

“It isn’t necessarily easy working from home because you don’t have that one-on-one interaction. It has its challenges, but it has worked and our customer experience, which is our number one priority, aside from everyone’s health, I believe hasn’t suffered at all.”

Appliance Retailer caught up with Hans via Zoom to receive this commentary. Watch our interview here.