How to Retain Your Customers During the Coronavirus Crisis
Sales and marketing teams always have their ups and downs during the year. Still, the current Coronavirus pandemic is hitting companies, especially hard, and the effects are being felt across industries. People now have to reevaluate their priorities and adjust to new working conditions while trying to figure out what happens next. During such a difficult time, you must show empathy and compassion to your customers and communicate with them on a routine basis.
Today we’ll show some ways to retain your clients during the pandemic since they are also trying to figure out how to move forward. You also need to provide your in-house teams with guidance in terms of what they need to do to keep their clients. This is why we would like to share some practical steps you can start taking today to provide both your clients and employees with some comfort.
How to Communicate with Customers During COVID-19
If your customers trust you, they will look to you for guidance. This is why you need to keep all of your communication channels open and talk with clients on a regular basis. You should first tell them what you plan to do during the Coronavirus pandemic and provide support to calm their anxiety. Many companies, as well as Skywell Software, have shifted their business and technical operations online and are therefore able to fulfill their obligations to their customers. If this is the case with your company, be sure to let your clients know about this and how you plan to maintain the necessary level of productivity.
Some of the best communication methods include:
- Email – It is a good idea to email your client’s C-suite executives and reassure them that you will be sticking by them during this difficult time. It is always comforting to get a message from the CEO or other high-ranking executives that they will stick by you when you need them most. The downside is that this should be reserved for a handful of people, which means other employees will not necessarily be aware of what is going on.
- Social Media – Sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter will provide you with a much greater audience reach, but you need to be careful to tailor your message to fit each platform. Furthermore, you will only be able to post something that can be made available to the general public and will not be tailored to each client.
- Blog – The blog on your website can be an excellent tool for building a closer and more meaningful relationship with your customers. This is a great platform to show your clients that you are knowledgeable about a particular subject, and you are not restricted in terms of the volume of the content. The only downside might be that some clients will not want to read articles about your methods and procedures and will want answers to question on how all of this will affect them.
- Call Center Support – If you are in the B2C market, your customers will most likely be calling you about whether or not your services will be affected by the Coronavirus. While this is a good opportunity to speak with each client, this puts a strain on your customer service department. Even big companies like Netflix, have halted live over the phone support since their teams were getting stretched thin.
Now that we have an understanding of the pros and cons of each channel let’s take a look at how you would go about creating a crisis communication plan.
How to Create a Crisis Communication Plan
Start by creating a team of 5-7 people who will be responsible for monitoring the situation on the ground and reporting all of the findings. Pandemic customer contact is pivotal, and you need to be careful not to withhold any information. This team will provide you with information on which you will base your subsequent communication decisions.
The next step is to think about your internal communication. You need to keep everybody informed and put their minds at ease by providing hope for the future. This includes regularly posting updated information internally or on social media. Whenever you make a decision, it is important that you explain the thought process and what information was factored into the decision. The communication should be on a regular basis, and it is always a good idea to tell them the little knowledge you have at the moment than waiting an uncertain amount of time until you know more.
What you should do next is reassure your shareholders. You need to explain to them the effect of COVID-19 on the economy and why sales numbers will be down this quarter and, most likely, subsequent ones as well. Tell them about the short-term challenges that you are dealing with and what you are doing about each problem. If you have an annual meeting with your shareholders, you should not cancel it, but rather hold it online via Zoom. This way, you will be able to provide clarity and answer all of their questions.
Finally, you need to think about the community. Every organization should have a corporate social responsibility program that clearly states how they plan to help their community every year and especially in a time of crisis. If your company is located in a small community that largely relies on you for jobs, it is especially important to communicate with them and provide them with peace of mind.
Start Getting Proactive
We talked a lot about how to communicate effectively in business, but all of this should not merely be theoretical. A lot of companies have a communication plan, but it remains on the shelf, and everybody is left wondering what is going on in the end. If you are thinking about how to keep your clients, the key is to empathize with them, which means that you need to start communicating with people daily until this whole thing is over.