We are in the middle of a global pandemic. This has brought on uncertainty, confusion and fear across the world. When dealing with social distancing and an overwhelming need for products that may be scarce, businesses are now stepping into unchartered territory.
During these trying times, businesses are unsure of how to communicate with their customers and how to be sensitive in their messaging. With these uncertainties regarding how to reach out to your customers and maintain some semblance of normalcy, we have come up with different ways to reach out to your customers in the midst of a crisis.
Be Open and Honest About Where The World Is Right Now
It is important to acknowledge what is happening in the world. Addressing the issue head on shows that your business is aware and is not ignoring this very public crisis. This begins with marketing. Your marketing efforts should not be the same as before, it should always be relevant to the current times that we are in. With that being said, now is the perfect time to incorporate positive messaging into your marketing plans and even begin to develop products or relief plans for your customers during this time, which is economically challenging for many.
Refresh Consumer Data
Even if your business is seeing a decline in sales and customer interaction, or the exact opposite due to an increased need for products and services that your business provides, now is the best time to ensure that company information is updated. If your business utilizes a CRM software, which contains copious amounts of customer information, consider consolidating, completing and updating your customer contact information.
Why CRM is so important for businesses is because it helps to build a bridge between you and your consumer base. Make sure that the customer information stored in your software is accurate.
Be Honest and Transparent About Your Business Capabilities
During these times you may find your business on either end of the spectrum: a loss of business or an influx of it. No matter where you are on the spectrum, it is important to respond to customer emails, phone calls and inquiries. If you find that your business is falling behind with communication, issue disclaimers that all inquiries will be answered, but there may be a delay in time given the current circumstances.
This advice is the same for businesses that ship and deliver essential products. Having open and honest communication and transparency means a lot to customers. Never promise to do something that your business is currently incapable of doing.
Shift to Online Channels
With many businesses having to close down their physical workspaces in favor of working from home, there is a learning curve to endure. For example, brick and mortar stores of all kinds and even gyms can not have large amounts (or any) groups of people in one space together. With that, there may be a delay in communications, work and shipping products. In an effort to make things easier for customers, businesses can make their products and services available online for their customers to purchase and/or utilize.
This helps to push business along and keeps customers happy while continuing to provide them with the services that they need.
Highlight Company Values
This is the perfect time for businesses to show appreciation for their customers, while remaining true to their vision. Think of the messaging that your business uses, how can it be one of support and comfort during these difficult times? It would also be beneficial for companies to provide resources for their customer base to utilize whether it is for emotional support or education about current world events. You want your customers to feel understood, supported and appreciated.
There are other ways in which businesses can support and communicate with their customers during a crisis, but the most important thing to remember is providing a helping hand wherever you can, being transparent about what your company is able to provide during this time and create messaging that does not ignore where the world is right now.