We have all seen the messaging about staying safe whilst staying apart, and by now most of the world is used to communicating via video conferencing and Facetime, but when it comes to businesses, some are still lagging and missing the mark when it comes to effective communication.
Why You Need to Connect More
Connecting with your customers and clients is vital. You know this, you’ve known this for years, and it’s how your business has gone from start-up to success, but for some companies, connecting during the pandemic has been somewhat problematic.
How do you approach client or customer relationships when you can’t look them in the eye? How do you judge the tone of voice if you’re reading text on a screen? These questions have been hard to answer, but they’re not going away.
Now more than ever customers and clients need to feel like they can trust your company, and that they can connect with you in a way that means they are understood, and they get the information they need. They need and want updates that are effective, timely, and compassionate.
Connecting with customers will breed much better relationships and help your business thrive once the world returns to some normality.
Here are eight ways you can connect with customers, even in these difficult times.
Use Social Media More
Social media can be a great tool for connecting and communicating with your customers, and in times like these, you must adapt your social media strategy to meet these demands.
Depending on your business, your customers may be feeling left out, or maybe even shut out, of their usual communication with you, and this is a great place to add a bit of social media customer service to the mix.
A great example of this is with veterinary clinics. Many vets have had to adapt the way they work to ensure they stay safe during the coronavirus pandemic, but by posting regular social media updates about what to expect on your visit (like pet-parents not being able to go in with their animals), you’ll keep your clients in the loop about what is going on and why your processes have temporarily changed.
Invest in Chat Platforms
Have you had a look at different chat platforms for your business? You may already know that you can message your customers via Facebook Messenger, but did you know that you can also chat with customers on WhatsApp?
WhatsApp is used by over 2 BILLION users worldwide, and for many people, WhatsApp is their main form of communication. If you want to connect to your customers on a platform that THEY are comfortable with, this isn’t a bad idea.
Showing empathy can be hard for businesses, especially if it’s not your business style to be more ‘touchy-feely; with your customers; however, this is a great time to try!
Whatever business you are, showing empathy towards your customers, your clients, and the difficulties they will currently face is a great way to build rapport and build confidence in your brand.
Show them that you understand what they’re going through right now and that your business is working hard to make it as easy as possible for them to connect with you under difficult circumstances. Working together whilst being apart is a strong message that all companies should be tagging onto right now.
Share Your Story
Everyone will be dealing with the pandemic in their own way, and everyone has their own story. Now might be a good time actually to share your story and what you’re doing to make your working environment a little more pleasant during difficult times.
There are many ways to do this, and a few popular ideas are to go behind the scenes at your workplace or interview current staff who are working from home and make a feature out of it.
Showing how you are adapting will build confidence and trust in your brand.
Times of adversity are also times of great creativity. Now, more than ever, the world needs creative campaigns that aren’t out to scare us but to share facts and knowledge in an accessible way.
Think of creative ways to connect with your customers, through video or blogs, or even social media updates, and this will give you a more lighthearted look and feel during the darker times.
Make It Easy to Connect
Do your customers or clients usually come to you? Is business usually sealed with a handshake? These things are hard to do right now, but there are plenty of ways you can help them connect with you whilst staying at a safe distance.
Use video chat functions, extra staff on the phones, and even social media customer service teams to answer questions as soon as they arise, and now is a great time to invest in your SEO blogging strategy too.
Just like being empathetic is vital right now, so is understanding your customers’ frustrations.
It can be heartbreaking to get negative reviews or face angry customers, but right now more than ever you’ll need to learn to take a step back, take a deep breath, and approach situations calmly to diffuse them.
Everyone is under stress, aim to not add to it by not being understanding.
As crazy as it seems, now could be the best time you have for giving a live video a go! We’re at least ten months into the pandemic now, and many people have already rinsed through their YouTube watch later list, and Netflix is looking a little more boring than it used to be, so why not give them something interesting to watch?
Hosting an Ask Me Anything session is a great option for lives, as are interviews and quick updates about your company done in an off-the-cuff and unrehearsed way to show that you are still humans on the other side of the screen.