Building customer loyalty is hard – especially at this time. COVID-19 has created a period of extreme uncertainty and we are all struggling to find a way forward while maintaining connections with valued customers and stakeholders.
Every day we hear of organisations and leaders stumbling to address Coronavirus. Just think of Donald Trump’s u-turn. With rising infection rates, he quickly reversed course and cancelled plans to reopen the US economy by Easter.
And while we may not have all the answers, and are unclear about the way forward, organisations do need to manage their customer communications in order to protect revenue streams, maintain confidence and minimise damage.
In this video, we provide advice on how to communicate effectively with team members during uncertain times.
Keeping your team motivated is vital but customers remain the lifeblood of any business.
Maintaining and building customer loyalty during this difficult period is one way to strengthen your competitive edge.
So what are useful principles to plan and deploy effective customer communications during the pandemic period? And how should brands respond?
- Present a humane and compassionate voice to build trust and reassurance. Use your communications to align with customers concerns and demonstrate how you are supporting them through this crisis. As mentioned in our video, it’s human to seek direction and leadership during difficult times.
According to online marketing trends website, CMO, many ‘brands locally and globally are increasingly turning to CEO updates as a way of reassuring customers as the pandemic period continues.’ Well-versed leaders can be an effective method to add gravitas and express emotional support. Of course the Queen’s speech is a great example of this.
- Consider how you can adapt your service offering and address emerging customer pain points. From early on in the crisis, organisations have taken to offering customers new services and value-added offers.
We note supermarkets offering special hours for seniors and people with disabilities, banks extending loan deferrals and member associations extending free resources. These are a few examples towards building customer loyalty and while they may not be completely selfless acts, they are meeting audience needs and demonstrated pain points. These actions help to maintain brand loyalty and attract new customers.
- Leverage technology to connect with customers.
As a result of social distancing, more and more people are seeking to stay connected via virtual communications. It’s great to see podcasts, videos and webinars all coming more to the fore. At Edmonds Marketing we’re now delivering workshops via Zoom and supporting clients to deliver educational webinars.
We recommend clients develop an integrated approach and leverage a selection of digital and social media platforms.
Create a destination on your website for relevant Coronavirus communications and review it regularly. Allow customers to seek out information via your social media channels. If you’re still open but with limited services, make it well known across all your digital platforms.
- Ensure your customer communications are relevant, worthy and timely.
During this period of information overload, be careful about creating unwanted noise. Ensure your communications are worthy otherwise you may end up annoying or upsetting customers.
- Be proactive in capturing and responding to related Coronavirus customer concerns. Develop a process to capture these as part of a well- considered and agile communications plan. Schedule in regular updates. Regularly review the plan with relevant team members and adjust it as required.
Make sure frontline team members are included and where necessary, provided with clear scripting so they can reassure customers directly on emerging issues.
And while emails play a role, don’t rely on them too much. If you’re like me, your inbox will have become a busy repository for all kinds of Coronavirus related communications.
Taking a proactive communications approach will make a significant difference to managing the Coronavirus journey and building and maintaining customer loyalty. If managed well, your organisation will emerge strong.
As always, if you need assistance or would appreciate a chat with an experienced strategic marketing and communications specialist, please get in touch by contacting: email@example.com or calling 0430 023679
As a strategic marketing consultancy, we help businesses evolve and grow by clarifying marketing direction and transforming quality insights into effective integrated communications.
- Blog: Consider BrandScan to understand how your brand is currently perceived and how loyal your customers really are.