The world continues to battle the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Given that a vaccine is still unavailable commercially, governments and all relevant agencies have implemented the necessary measures to control the spread of the virus.
Apart from urging citizens to stay at home, adopt good hygiene, and practice social distancing, authorities have also called for the temporary closure of public areas like schools, malls, and offices.
Aside from doctors and healthcare workers, small business owners are greatly affected by this health crisis. Unfortunately, some companies are unable to resume operations due to the constraints and the lack of clientele that came with the community quarantine. However, some companies are able to digitize their process and resume operations by making some significant adjustments.
If your business is lucky enough to continue operations during this period, you are likely dealing with a ton of tricky situations. Aside from internal adjustments, such as switching to a remote working setup, your business may have had some trouble generating the necessary income. If things are continuously getting worse, don’t panic—things are still under your control.
Pandemic or not, there is no denying that customers remain at the heart of every business. Other than digitizing your processes and doubling-down on marketing, maintaining your relationships with your customers will ultimately ensure continuity at optimal levels.
Given that interactions between brands and consumers are irregular due to the pandemic, you’ll need to find ways to create valuable engagements with them. Luckily, the guide below will discuss how you can maintain customer relationships during a pandemic.
1. Optimize the customer experience
Nowadays, customers greatly value the experience they get from a brand. Your site may be enjoying good amounts of traffic, but if your customers are having a hard time making a transaction, they are less likely to purchase. If you want to switch up your conversion rate, you’ll need to provide a frictionless customer experience.
Apart from outstanding customer service, you will need to make it easier for your clients to close on a business deal. Given that brand to consumer engagements are being affected by the pandemic, you’ll need to make it easy for them to purchase. Optimizing your website and sending customers requests for feedback should be your first step.
2. Bring out your inner content marketer
Content marketing remains one of the most effective digital marketing practices to date. If you have a knack for blogging, feeding your audience with timely, relevant, and goal-oriented content is one of the best ways you can sustain your relationship.
Blogging regularly performs multiple functions at once. Apart from selling the idea of your service and presenting solutions to your audience’s problems, it shows them how committed you are to serving them.
Given the economic effects of the pandemic, many companies have laid low in marketing and shifted their focus on sustaining their business. Now that the internet isn’t as flooded with content, the situation presents an excellent opportunity to boost your online presence.
3. Be social media savvy
Being social media savvy will keep your business ahead of the curve. Since social distancing remains the norm, people are currently spending most of their hours at home staring at their phones and laptops. Now that they are scrolling through their timelines and feeds more frequently, you should make it a point to be seen every now and then.
Whether you are posting new information regarding the virus, funny videos for some good vibes, or a blog with a ton of valuable insight, showing up on their news feeds regularly can make a huge difference in your customer acquisition.
It’s important to note that platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram also serve as all-in-one tools. Not only do they let you promote your products and services, but it also paves the way for valuable engagements.
4. Keep communication lines open
Communication is extremely vital during this period. If your business is product-based, you can expect tons of customer inquiries to come your way. You can provide email support, implement a live chat feature on your website, or even program a chatbot to answer customer concerns. By having multiple communication lines open, your clients can stay in contact with you while keeping a safe distance.
5. Empathize with your audience
Everyone is dealing with the pandemic differently. Some people may have a harder time staying afloat as compared to others, which is why empathizing with your audience is incredibly crucial. Being flexible lets your clients know that you genuinely care about them, and this will help you out in the long run.
If you see that you have several customers that are unable to pay off their remaining balances, the will greatly appreciate it if you provide them with some financial breathing room. If circumstance allows, extending deadlines or giving them the option to make periodical payments will go a long way.
Customers don’t just want to transact with you; they want to build a meaningful relationship with your brand as well. Companies that know how to keep their customers happy will have an easier time creating a loyal customer base. Amid the economic uncertainty, empathy will significantly impact your company’s bottom line and reputation in the market.
6. Be generous
You may enjoy high amounts of traffic to your page, but nothing will grow and sustain your business more than customer loyalty. Most customers are naturally frugal, especially now that the pandemic is changing the way they go about their finances. However, they greatly appreciate brands that make them feel special.
Your sales may take a huge hit during this period, but being generous will have its rewards. Whether or not your business has a rewards program, you should make it a point to give discounts or credits.
In case you have an online shop or a social media page, you should send out special offers on your products and services. This will help your business gain momentum while paving the way for positive interactions with your customers.
7. Combat the virus in your way
If your shop is still open or is about to, you’ll need to safeguard the health of your customers and employees. Aside from making your staff follow the best hygienic practices, placing barriers and cleaning your store from top to bottom take utmost priority. This means wiping communal surfaces, regularly disinfecting tables, and placing bottles of hand sanitizer in different areas of the shop.
Apart from cleaning, it would be best if you also let your customers know that you are taking precautionary measures to keep your store clean and safe. Requiring them to wear masks before entering your store or limiting the number of people who can enter are some standard practices being done by many businesses.
Enforcing them to stay responsible when shopping with you will also keep them vigilant when they deal with other affairs.
Lastly, let your customers know how you are preventing the spread of the virus. If your business regularly posts on social media or sends out emails, sharing safety tips, important updates from the government, and hygiene protocols you are following will give your customers some assurance in case they plan to visit your store.
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