The global pandemic has presented an unprecedented challenge to all businesses. Many major high street brands have collapsed since the pandemic struck, along with many small businesses closing for good. Even though the lockdown restriction has forced people around the world to shelter in their homes and avoid human contact, it is still very important that you engage with your customers to ensure that they keep on choosing your products and services. However, the way of customer engagement has to be more than just selling your products and services, but more about making your customers feel cared for and connected, especially during a crisis. We have 8 tips for you on how to engage with your customers during this pandemic.
This is the time to get creative
People are experiencing the same issues that come with the lockdown policy everywhere: being stuck at home with nothing to do, being bored to tears, being driven crazy by the people they are in lockdown with, not able to see their friends and families, and many more. This is the time to get creative with improvising your products and services to meet people’s needs. For example, many online entertainment services are offering lockdown discounts to help people pass time and stay at home. For the ones who like to keep shopping online, many sites are offering special discounts in response to the current situation. Some restaurants have put recipes on their websites and challenge their customers to recreate their signature dish. Remember people are bored and looking for something fun to do or something to occupy themselves with, so incorporate your products and services into that.
What goes around comes around, so give positive vibes
The world needs love and positivity more than ever right now. The world works in a mysterious way that you reap what you sow, so give out positivity and it will come back to you. As businesses, there are many ways you can help create a positive vibe. You can show your customers that you care about them, organising interactive activities for them to participate in online, sharing inspiring or funny messages and pictures on your social media profiles, sending thank you notes to your staff for their hard work and loyalty, organising online pub quiz to keep your staff connected, you can be as creative as you like with the way you show care. For example, some spa hotels are sharing at-home spa treatments tips on their websites so their customers can still enjoy pampering themselves in their own homes.
Get your customers to think about the future
It is in human nature to want certainty, so even though there is no certain end date for this global pandemic, people want to look into the future and make a plan for it. For example, people are looking forward to their next holidays more than ever. There are travel agencies that are throwing competitions for winning a post lockdown, all-inclusive holiday, or a luxurious spa weekend for two. This helps them keep in touch with their loyal customers and attract more of their target audience. The point is that, if you can help your customers look forward to the future, they will feel more drawn to what you have to offer. With many people having so much fear of the future, you can engineer your business towards helping your customers paint a positive picture of the future.
Awareness is the first step
Just because your customers cannot physically go to buy or enjoy your products and services at the moment, it doesn’t mean you have to stop advertising them. With the almighty power of the Internet, you can still generate awareness online. You can create an online campaign and activity to bring attention to your business and how people can visit your businesses once the lockdown policy is lifted. For example, Legoland is offering their fans virtual Legoland rides to enjoy from the comfort of their own homes as the parks are closed right now. This is a fun way to let their customers enjoy the experience of a Legoland ride at home and a great way to draw publicity to their brand amidst the lockdown.
Together, we can get through this
The level of anxiety that people feel is justifiably higher than ever, and it is reasonable to be scared. Now we all have to bear the rule of social distancing everywhere we go, those of us who can’t work from home have to worry about anyone and anything we come into contact with. If you are an online business that delivers the products to customers’ doors, it will help put their minds at ease by reassuring them about the extra precautions you are taking to keep the delivered products clean and safe. You can let them know through emails, social media platforms or your websites. If your customers can feel that you are showing concern for their safety, they are more likely to use your products and serves again and again. You must think about how to support them before the profit of your business. For example, many fashion and beauty services have started to offer discount codes for NHS staff. This shows their support in the NHS, which is good publicity for their brands.
Embody honesty and open communication
Being open and transparent has always been the best policy. In this time of extraordinary uncertainty, taking the responsibility to be as honest and open as possible is the key to strengthening your relationship with your customers. This means keeping them informed and letting them know about the decisions you have made your business. You can also involve them in the decision-making process, to help them feel included in the growth of your business. You would be surprised how much support and positive feedback you would get if you start sharing the hardships you are going through as a business and on a personal level. After all, we are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers of the same garden.
Do mention the elephant in the room
The truth is, we are going through the same doom and gloom at the moment and we have no idea when it is going to end, or how life will be after the pandemic finishes. While there is no need to remind people of their fear about the situation and future, emotive messages about positive aspects of life that people miss will be much more welcomed. Think about the things that people miss the most during this lockdown, like getting connected with loved ones, going on a first date, taking that spa break, and pretty much everything they used to be able to do without worrying about contracting the virus, The contents you share with your customers should invoke positive feelings and help them look forward to doing all the activities they enjoy.
Add an overlay message that indicates your Coronavirus policy to your website
Every business must add a clear statement about its Coronavirus policy on their websites. This should be a message that shows your customers how you will continue to support them during the pandemic and any change to the services. Places like hotels should state their refund policy and booking availability for the near future, many of them have initiated projects with their local communities and announced them on their overlays. If you want your customers to stay connected, you can even tell them in the message about how you can be contacted and to keep in touch on social media. If you are still open for business, your overlay should include any precautions you have employed to ensure your customers’ safety when they come to visit your physical store. Personalise the message for the overlay and show your customers how you are adapting to the situation.
Without customers, there is no business. Your customer service does not have to get locked down during the lockdown. The quality of customer service can be improved drastically if you choose to stay connected to your customers in the right ways. As business owners, it is understandable that you are having a particularly difficult time. So, it is even more important to stay connected to your customers so that they will come back to you when life returns to normal in the not so distant future. Whether you have decided to temporarily close your business or continue to operate online, your top priority is to keep new and existing customers informed every step of the way. Remember that even when you are trapped in your home, you can still them in theirs. Change up your marketing strategies and get involved in local initiatives to show your support. Explore new channels of communication like writing a blog, making a vlog or launching a new marketing campaign on different social media platforms. This is a great time to leave a lasting impression of your business for your customers and local communities.
Talk to us about digital marketing.
Call us FREE from mobiles and landlines on 0800 044 3664 and speak with one of our digital marketing experts to request more information or schedule a meeting.
Or fill in the form and one of our team will get back to you.