No one can deny that the entire world has drastically changed in the past few weeks after the spread of coronavirus. People and businesses can do well if they communicate more and make the necessary adaptations to the new economy.
What can you do to stay in touch with your customers during this time? How can you turn lemons into lemonade and help your customers? Let's take a look.
Stay in Touch with your Clients
The most important part of ensuring you don't leave your customers in the lurch is to stay on top of communication. When things get back to the new normal, you'll find that your customers will come with you, if you've taken the time to build that connection and encourage loyalty. Here's how:
1. SMS Marketing
SMS marketing is more important than ever before. Where people might have shut off their phones while at work, they now have them on hand constantly. You’ll find that text messaging is also an economical method of marketing. There are multiple ways to use SMS to reach your customers and this method can be mixed with other ideas on this list.
Answering customer questions is particularly useful in these difficult times. Your business is always at their fingertips with two-way texting. You can also send out FAQs as needed, to inform customers of anything that may concern them. It’s relatively simple to set up automated texts that will inform customers of new information regarding COVID-19 and your business. It also keeps your business at the forefront of their minds.
Another excellent use of texting is to set up a poll. A few short questions will give you an idea of where your customers are at. From there, you can work on solving their problems or creating a better way to serve them.
2. Broadcast Safety Tips
In these uncertain times, there is a flood of information out there. You can be the voice of reason and help people feel calmer in the storm. Give them practical ways to stay safe from the virus and show them how to boost their health. You can also offer tips on productivity and health while working at home.
Be sure to use reputable sources for your tips. Never share anything that you haven’t researched yourself, as it could be more dangerous. It’s best to look at government approved sites or high quality medical journals to get any information to share.
While these may not be directly related to your business, it’s always a good idea to connect with your customers. You don’t need to sell all the time and providing them with ideas for keeping safe is a good way to show that you care.
3. Set Up a Chatbot
Your employees may be working from home or you may have fewer people to respond to questions. A chatbot can respond to common questions immediately and let people know that you’re on top of things. Your chatbot can work while your entire company is asleep, as well, making it particularly useful when you have customers around the globe. Responsive customer service makes a great impression and builds trust.
Chatbots range from very basic, where they answer pre-assigned questions, to more advanced. The advanced ones use artificial intelligence to provide conversational messaging. AI turns a frustrating experience into one that your customers will be happy with. Their questions are answered quickly and they will get the necessary information immediately, instead of waiting for a human to see the message and respond.
More and more companies and organizations are using chatbots, including the World Health Organization. The organization uses its chatbot to provide relevant updates on the COVID-19 situation and to prevent misinformation from being spread.
4. Build a CSR Campaign
Now is the perfect time to give back to the community and the world around you. Even if your business has previously worked with charities or provided aid, things are very different now. It’s time to pivot and make sure you address a need that is caused by COVID-19.
Some ideas to get you started include:
- Collecting food or formula to distribute to the needy
- Starting a Buy 1, Donate 1 project
- Offer a promotion where the proceeds go to a worthy cause
- Offer your services for free to those in need
- Dollar match donations for a COVID-19 related cause
You’ll be joining hundreds of other companies doing the same thing. Together, you can make quite an impact and by sharing your progress with customers, you’ll help them see the possibilities, too. They can make a difference through your company.
5. Offer Promo Codes
With people holding onto their money and making less, it is a difficult time to make sales. It’s hard on both sides, so why not offer something that benefits everyone? A promo code like #COVID-19 or #QUARANTINE gives the power back to the consumer. Don’t let the virus win. Instead, give people something positive to associate with the name or with quarantine and lockdown.
You may offer a discount to make it easier for people to make a purchase, or you can add an extra, like free shipping or a gift. Either way, the promo code boosts business, raises awareness of what you’re doing in the face of the pandemic, and encourages people to buy from you. It makes it easier and more economical for them, as well, particularly if you offer a discount.
6. Offer Tailored Pricing
Some of your customers are suffering more than others and that means you should offer tailored pricing. If someone is having trouble purchasing, schedule a meeting with them and discuss the options. You can create a custom package that works for them.
Supporting your customers during difficult times will help them get through and it also ensures that they will become loyal customers.
Consider offering a payment plan for some people, if needed. You can also provide a discount or a custom package that only includes what they actually need. By adjusting your offerings to account for lower income levels, you reach more people. It also helps them make a necessary purchase without putting undue financial pressure on them.
It’s worth being flexible these days. You’ll find it easier to manage your business and keep it going if you are flexible and your customers will appreciate it, too.
7. Write from the Heart
It’s important that your clients know you empathize with them and are not just out to make money. The best way to convey this is to consider what they are going through and talk to them as you would a friend. Be emotional. Share your feelings about the pandemic.
Anxiety and fear are very real now and nearly everyone is feeling the same way. When you share how you feel and create a truly heartfelt message, your customers will feel more connected. Right now, that connection is very necessary. As everyone self-isolates, we still need that human connection. You can provide that connection just by pouring your feelings into your messages. Check in on your customers and make sure they know they’re not alone.
Even a little caring goes a long way. You may not be able to help everyone in the world, but your customer base is waiting for you to reach out to them. Be honest, raw, and show how much they matter to you. The end result will be a higher level of trust now and after life goes back to normal. Loyal customers are made in these trying times and the worth of a business shows through clearly in whether they help others or not.
CEQUENS Can Help
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We are doing our best to serve our global customers in these unprecedented times. We’ve enacted our own measures to combat the virus and we are happy to serve you online. Our highly resilient and always available CEQUENS Communication Platform is available with a click of a button.