Customer Engagement During the Coronavirus Pandemic
The impact of the Coronavirus has been felt across the entire world over the past number of weeks.
While healthcare workers and scientists continue to fight against the virus and countries around the world encourage staying at home to continue to flatten the curve, many businesses continue to operate with working from home and Business Continuity plans coming into effect.
From a customer engagement perspective, the virus is constantly reshaping how organisations and customers interact with one another. This blog discusses the communications side of working through the Coronavirus pandemic and engaging with your customers.
The Coronavirus has had an impact on us all in one way or another, with many being forced to alter lifestyles. People are anxious and worried about their health, family and jobs, along with the overall economic impact of the restrictions. With the level of uncertainty that surrounds us all, it’s incredibly important that the tone of any messaging is relatable, empathetic and compassionate.
Ensuring the communication has purpose is key. Be clear in every communication as to why you’re communicating and what it is that customers need to hear, whether it’s related to a change in service or just an update on operations.
Customers are looking to the companies they deal with normally for guidance how these changes will affect them.
Be Proactive with Information
Keeping your customers up to date with changes to your business operations is key. This is especially important if you’re deemed an essential service.
Not only will proactive communications with customers reduce their need to go searching for the information, it’ll also lower the amount of repetitive customer service enquiries. The more your customers know now, the less they’ll need to ask.
This will also help with alleviate stress on staff in a time when they’re inundated with queries.
Not every organisation will have all the answers in a time with such uncertainty, but being available and proactive enough to provide the best possible communications can greatly enhance your relationship with customers.
A Change of Plans
There’s no doubt that marketing plans around the world have been affected by the impact of COVID-19. Events are cancelled or postponed, campaigns have come to a halt and budgets have been slashed across almost all industries. While planning during the uncertainty won’t be easy, short-term goals can still be set.
Reluctance to alter your campaigns during a time of crisis could ultimately damage your brand. Reviewing your entire customer engagement stream can ensure you’ve removed any possible tone-deaf messaging from your communications.
Avoiding insensitive messaging now could save your brand from damaging its future reputation.
Focus on Employees
Employees are the frontline staff in your organisation. They function as ambassadors to the community and the brand. Keeping employees in the loop regarding internal and upcoming changes and ongoing issues will make them feel more at ease.
When employees aren’t informed of internal management decisions, it makes communications with those outside the organisation suffer.
Some organisations will be under pressure with large volumes of enquiries from anxious customers, while other organisations may see slump in business due to the economic effects of the virus. Regardless, employees are what help deliver effective communications to your customers and should be kept in the loop regarding business measures taken.
When the majority of the population is at home it’s important that the channels chosen to communicate your organisation’s changes reflect the situation. Many organisations have opted for email, direct mail and SMS to consistently alert their customers of their current situation.
Retail outlets are similarly increasing their social media activity to both communicate news to customers, as well as provide effective customer service enquiries.
While communicating with customers in circumstances like these is uncharted territory for most businesses it’s key to maintaining a good customer relationship for when the Coronavirus pandemic passes and restrictions are lifted.
Are you interested in finding out more regarding customer engagement? If so, make sure to contact us today on +353 1 8041298, or click on the link below to be brought to our contact form!