Businesses all around the world are feeling the effects of COVID-19 and have been left with no choice but to adapt to the current state of things. While panic and uncertainty are at an all-time high, the most important things you can offer your customers is great customer service and clear communication. In this article, we have outlined a few essential communication tips to help you let your customers know you are still there for them and are (or soon will be) open for business.
- People First, Business Second.
We all want to make money, but prioritizing sales before your customer’s needs can affect your reputation and your bottom line. This is no time to promote, put your customers first. Now, we’re not saying to give out all of your products or services for free, but this is a great time to introduce appropriate discounts, free trials, educational content and extended support.
- Speak Up
We are all grateful for those doing their best to stop the spread. Let your customers know that your business is one of them! Tell them about the procedures you and your staff have put in place to fight off COVID-19 and keep everyone safe. Perhaps you have a restaurant that now offers contact-less delivery, or a shop that will be closing two hours early every day to thoroughly disinfect. If your services are web-based, now is the time to let your customers know about discounts or a free trial. This may mean less money now but could lead to more paying customers in the future.
- Be Compassionate
Let’s face it, we are in the middle of a crisis. Taking a compassionate tone during this time is essential. When addressing your customers, speak their language. Don’t be afraid to show vulnerability. Be authentic, be kind and be gentle. Let them know we are ALL in this together and that they are your priority because what is your business without your customers? Support them and let them know you appreciate their support too.
- Be Crystal Clear
During this scary and uncertain time, your customers are probably getting mixed messages from every angle imaginable. Some businesses are closed, some are still open but have different hours, some are only doing curb-side pickup and others have closed for good. Make sure you are as clear as possible about any changes to your operating procedures. This could be as simple as a page on your website about COVID-19, a link to your company contact information with updated hours of operation, etc. The more information you provide, the less uncertainty there will be.
- Keep in Touch
This one is a bit obvious (we hope). Update your website regularly, send out emails and stay active on social media. Make yourself or your team available for email/phone support when appropriate. Leave no room to wonder if you can provide the products and services that your customers still want and need. If you can, take it a step further and include links to official government and health websites offering relevant products and information that are useful to the public.
There is no question that things are a bit rough for us all right now. The good news? It will not be this way forever. The best thing we can all do in this moment is care for one another. Show your customers the strong, smart and compassionate people behind your brand. Be adaptable, stay in touch and be kind.