Retain Customers and Stay Connected During Coronavirus
COVID-19 changed life for your clients. In the mad scramble to adjust, people want to stay connected. Not only with each other but with trusted brands as well. That's why effective communication during a crisis helps you retain customers.
Your clients want reassurance from your company. Uncertain times call for a consistent presence that outlasts the global disruption. Yet your company faces challenges, too. Your teams may work from home. Some offices close until further notice. It isn't easy to juggle complex workflows or manage remote work methods.
But you cannot let these issues harm your brand. Keeping in contact with your customers and team is vital. Learn how to change your messaging and help loyal clients and employees.
Effective Communication During a Crisis: First Steps
It doesn't matter if your doors are open or closed. Your customers still need to hear from you and be able to reach your company. After all, your clients depend on you for leadership, as do your employees.
Right now, many people feel a sense of panic or fear. You have the opportunity to provide guidance and be a pillar of consistency. Each action you take can reassure customers.
This reassurance turns into loyalty. The idea, ideally, is for your business to come out of this coronavirus crisis stronger than ever. But you need to keep your brand in front of clients and put forth a clear message.
1. Let Customers Know What You're Doing to Prevent COVID-19 From Spreading
During the first days of the coronavirus pandemic, brands sent many emails to clients. There's a good chance you've already sent one out to your customers. But we can't stress enough the importance of repeating your message.
Over the next few weeks and months, your clients will hear a lot of information in the news. They feel uncertain and question when life will return to normal. Your doors may open while COVID-19 problems continue. Take action now to adopt an ongoing campaign that informs customers.
Let your clients know about the steps you take to place their safety first. When you share information about COVID-19, use reliable sources such as:
- Center for Disease Control (CDC): Coronavirus guidance
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA): COVID-19 overview
Sharing credible data and following guidelines ensures you're giving accurate information.
2. Brainstorm How to Retain Customers During the Coronavirus Pandemic
Next, review your customers' pain points and the buyer's journey. Both may change due to COVID-19. Businesses should listen to and address their clients’ needs. Start by talking to your sales, marketing and customer support teams. Ask them:
- Are customers asking new questions or expressing different concerns since the pandemic began?
- How does COVID-19 affect your clients’ work and buying habits?
Learn as much as you can about the challenges your customers face. Then, shift your messaging to address these concerns. Go through each of your marketing channels. Look for ways to tweak your wording to show people how you can help them now.
3. Teach Teams How to Work From Home to Maintain Your Customer Base
Remote work is a hard adjustment for those used to staying connected at work. Your distributed team uses a set process for customer outreach and care. Maintaining your customer base from home requires extra thought. Help your staff learn how to work from home by:
- Giving team members access to critical customer data in the cloud
- Enabling remote work features so staff can use any device
- Documenting virtual workflows that employees can review from anywhere
- Providing technical how-to guidance for work-from-home tools and systems
4. Find Ways to Support Employees During the COVID-19 Crisis
Your staff grapples with health and personal issues. Effective communication during a crisis means transparency starting from day one. Share updates on the steps your company is taking to address COVID-19. Include vital information about:
- Office sanitation and disinfection methods
- Plans for safety once everyone returns to work
- Resources for help during the coronavirus pandemic
Help teams stay connected using team chat rooms and video-enabled meetings. Doing so supports your business along with your employees' emotional desire for connection.
5. Stay Connected to Customers While Practicing Social Distancing
Companies use technology to keep in touch with customers and teams. But it's more than answering emails and catching up on messaging applications. Go to your clients and find new ways to stay connected. Begin by reaching out on social media:
- Insert inspirational and educational messages into your social media schedule
- Use a variety of methods, such as a giveaway or contest, to get your followers interacting
- Create a Facebook or LinkedIn group to bring clients together
- Respond to customers commenting on your posts
Next, reword your marketing campaigns. Adjust your message to reflect the pressing issues happening right now. Primary concerns include working around family or job loss. For example, show your compassion and willingness to work with clients. Offer deals or sales on products that'll help them through the COVID-19 crisis.
Lastly, stream your services through video. Yes, life changed for many people. But they want a sense of normalcy. Provide this for your clients with a communications platform. For instance:
- Offer live versions of your workout class or a happy-hour networking session
- Host an interactive webinar to help customers stay connected with your community
- Use unified communications to stay on top of your clients’ concerns from anywhere
Retain Customers and Stay Connected With Video-Enabled Tools
Closing your business down in the short-term is necessary. But that does not mean you should stop connecting with clients. Instead, use technology to keep your lines of communication open and retain customers. Then, develop workflows that keep clients and employees safe.
Cloud-based video communications provide a cost-effective and straightforward way to engage with customers. With high-definition audio and video, your yoga class or kickboxing session can continue. After all, sheltering at home doesn't mean your customers want to sit on the sofa.
Get connected now at 8x8 for free and keep your team and customers healthy—from a safe distance.