Keeping Your Relationships Strong During COVID-19
Coronavirus has really done a number on businesses the past couple of months. While companies are frantically trying to put together plans to survive lockdowns and closures, it’s easy to forget to keep in touch with customers and update them on your plans. Communication, as you already know, is the key to excellent customer relationships, and that should stop just because we’re in the middle of a pandemic situation. Maintaining good communication regularly is going to allow you to connect with your customers – even when they can’t come near your business.
Most businesses – even those brick and mortar businesses on the high street – have had to move online in the light of the pandemic. Lockdowns have meant that companies have had to have a fast education in how to positively communicate with those who have kept their business afloat. So many have had to shut their doors or adjust their hours because of the virus, and if you have to close your business or move online, you need to inform everyone of your plans. Updating your website and your social media pages is the first thing to do, and if you can adjust rather than close fully, you are going to be better off in the long term. Your customers are practicing social distancing and mostly working from home – so you need to be able to reach them and continue to communicate with them. Let’s take a look at how you can keep your customer relationships strong during COVID-19.
How Is Your Business Responding To The Crisis?
You need to speak to your customers about how you plan to handle the virus, but you need to establish that strategy with your employees first. This way, your staff will know how to handle your response to the virus. Are you online enough? Are you on live chat software ready to talk to your staff? If you haven’t considered that before, click here and learn more about it. If you know the action that your business plans to take, you’ll be able to better communicate this with those it directly affects.
Tell Everyone What You’re Doing
Once you work out your business response to the virus, you need to tell the world about it. Tell your customers the precautions you are taking, and if you’re remaining open, tell them that too! In fact, shout that from the rooftops. Businesses are folding all over the place right now, and you don’t want to be one of them if you can help it. Maintain a consistent response to the virus across all business channels, and you will be a trusted business in front of your customers. If you have an email list, shoot one out to everyone to let them in on what your plans are. Update your website and social media, and be present 24/7 online. This is where a live chat facility will really benefit your business. If you have staff available from home around the clock, no one needs to be out of the loop.
Make Your Website More Efficient
You need to make your website as accessible as possible for your customers when you’re in the middle of a pandemic. Speaking to your website provider and IT team is imperative here, as with customers at home all day your website traffic will (hopefully) shoot through the roof! If your website is slow, they will go elsewhere.
Offer Some Freebies
If your business is selling something, it’s time to offer something no customer can say no to. The thing is, customers cannot come to your business premises if they are in lockdown, which means that you need to give them other ways to support it. Offering money off via website discounts, or offering gift cards to customers is a great incentive to keep them coming to your business without them having to leave the house.
Start A Live Chat
You may not have had one before, and we’ve mentioned it already, but a live chat service is going to be valuable to your business right now. You can assist customers from home and you can do it while they are socially distancing properly. Your employees being at home will mean that your customers can get the answers that they need when they need them.
Keep Updating Social Media
We use social media in business to keep our customers updated at all times, and it’s now more than ever that you need to utilize your social media. Social media creates a conversation, rather than just sending out alerts. You can answer any questions that your customers have, announce any product issues and talk with your customers about what they would like from your business at this time.
Announce Your Plans For Reopening
Your high street store will need proper sanitation if you want customers to be able to set foot back inside. Following the proper practices and being certified in infection control will help your business to make a difference to customers at this time. We know that hand sanitizing and wearing masks is important, so offer masks at the door and have a sanitizing station ready outside the door. Have a specialist cleaning team on hand ready to keep things clean, and announce all of this to your customers so that they can rest assured that you are doing everything possible to keep them safe. Make sure that this is announced on the window of your business as well as your website.
COVID-19 has changed everything for a business, but you can keep your customers happy and constant if you act quickly. You do not want your business to be one of those that will fold in the midst of the chaos, which means that if you think fast and communicate early, you’ll get the future you want for your business. Customer relationships can be made stronger when you put them in your focus – even in the middle of a pandemic.