The effects of the current pandemic need no introduction; we have all been affected by the recent outbreak of Covid-19. We are slowly getting used to this ‘new normal’, navigating working from home and the impact of social distancing on our daily routine.
Even though the current measures are vital to protect our health, there is, naturally, great concern for the impact that this will have on retaining customer engagement. The disruption to normal ways of working is disconcerting, but it is something you can begin to overcome with the right tools.
As the world changes, approaches to work should change too. This does not mean a drastic overhaul, but rather some small and simple tweaks in order to tailor your current business to match current consumer needs.
Here are 3 great ideas on how to retain strong customer engagement throughout an uncertain situation.
1. Be Transparent
Right now, it cannot be business-as-usual, and this needs to be clear to your customer. Be upfront and honest with them about what is happening, making sure to inform them of changes that you may be making to ensure everyone’s safety. If you start to begin face-to-face working, let the customer know the plans you have in place to mitigate the risks for both of you.
Keep the effects of Covid-19 in the back of your mind when speaking to your customers. Many businesses have fallen victim to tone-deaf marketing schemes, where, in ignoring what is going on, they have created content that seems insensitive.
Reimagine your marketing for what is happening right now, giving your customers the experiences they need at present. For example, it is not a great idea to brand something as perfect for a night out if your customers are just going to be sat at home. You could tweak this, promoting something as a way of getting glammed up for their next virtual event. Focus on what can be experienced currently.
It is important to realise the increased anxiety of the customer right now. Health and wellbeing is a greater concern than ever; by demonstrating that this is a priority for your business will ease your customer, and keep their trust in you.
2. Stay Connected
Even if your business needs to physically close for health and safety reasons, you can still stay connected AND front of mind to many of your customers.
Utilise your social media channels to maintain regular contact. We recommend prioritising platforms that have increased traffic at this time, such as Instagram and Facebook and focusing on just one or two is enough if you do them well. These are also preferable as they are more interactive, allowing your customer to have a direct conversation with you, almost instantaneously.
Don’t be afraid to ask the customer what they need right now by asking questions and polls in Stories. Your customer requirements are likely to have changed during this period, so it is a clever idea to gain insight into what these changes are. Not only will this give you great ideas on how to tailor new ideas to your customer base, but it will make your customer feel listened to and understood.
3. Go Digital
The interconnectivity we experience in our daily life now exists almost solely online.
Capitalise on this by digitalising things that you would normally do face-to-face. Training sessions, or customer consultations, for example, can easily be done via a video call. If you had an event planned, make it virtual and host it through a live-stream. People are sorely missing these kinds of services, which, if these are successful, can help open your business up to a new audience and these resources can often be very low cost or even free.
If you are struggling to make your current services virtual, you can create something new. Use your unique expertise to teach your customer-base a new skill. Whether you can demonstrate some quick tips on how to apply lashes more easily, or share a great 15-minute abs workout, this type of content will help your clients and improve your engagement.
Use any extra free time you have right now to revitalise your online presence. Evaluate your social channels or website, noting what changes could be made to make them more user friendly. Note that at the moment, people are spending a lot more time online so it is important that your platforms are tailored for optimal user experience.
Take advantage of the fact that people are spending more time scrolling through the Internet. By creating informative and useful content, you are providing people with a moment of joy in their day and they will associate that powerful feeling with your account.
When you can choose to be anything in this world, choose to be kind
Although we are living in a period of adversity, experiencing a collective struggle has shown us all how important our bonds are to each other. We are all conscious of the importance of kindness, especially right now. Staying personable and empathetic to your customer during this time will ensure you maintain a positive relationship with longevity.
When facing these challenges, remember that you have built up your business through your own strengths and creativity. By tailoring your communication and content to be thoughtful and informative, you will retain the customer engagement, and maintain those positive relationships with them, even through hardship!
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