Disruptions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic are affecting the way we work. It’s led to the total closure of many businesses. And those that can carry on in some way (for example, via remote working) are struggling to adapt to new ways of getting their job done.
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While this goes on, businesses are also trying to navigate communication with their customers in these times. It’s not always clear how they should do this. They may send the obligatory letter assuring clients of their continued service or announcing the suspension of regular operations. But what else should they be doing?
If you’ve been asking this question, you should find answers here. Let’s dive in.
How To Communicate With Customers Through the Coronavirus Pandemic
1. Let Them Know the Status of Your Operations
Are you shutting down all services? Will you continue to serve them in some way? If you’re staying open with remote workers, what level of service can your customers expect from you?
Provide your customers with answers to these questions. Make this an official letter that you send to them via email. Put out the important bits as tweets, Facebook, or Instagram posts (depending on where your social media channels are).
Many companies’ early responses have been authored by their chief executives. You could tow this line with your business just to give your response the human feel. But there’s nothing wrong with making subsequent or regular communication unsigned.
2. Tell them How they Can Keep in Touch
You want to keep the channels open so your customers can contact you. They may want more information than what’s contained in your letter or other brief statements. Let them know what avenues are open for them to reach your business.
You should have multiple channels open for this: email, voice calls, live chat, and social media. Share the contact details with them in your official messages to them.
3. Maintain Regular Communication
If your target audience only receives something from you once in a blue moon, you’re not likely to figure in their thoughts at this time. If you want to show them that you’re more than just a brand that sells them things, you should be willing to stay in touch with them when things aren’t rosy.
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A lot of the information out there right now concerns the COVID-19 pandemic. And sometimes it could be depressing. You could make your content stand out by offering something different—hopeful, upbeat messaging that lifts people’s spirits. A mix of inspiring stories and quotes, for instance, could do some good.
But you should also remind your customers to follow the health and safety procedures recommended by medical experts and the government.
4. Tailor Your Content Calendar for the Times
Update the public about changes in your company’s policies in response to the current disruption. Share news that’s related to your industry, and provide useful tips for your readers.
5. Be Sensitive About Your Messaging
Your clients may be going through difficult times. They will be turned off by anything that tries to use the present situation as grounds for marketing. Don’t fall into their bad books. Show empathy. Make your messaging more about getting through the pandemic, and less about how great your brand is.
If you’re providing relief for people or offering discounts for the times, you can let your customers know about it. But don’t turn it into an opportunity to sell ‘on the spot.’
Your ability to maintain your contacts with customers at this time could determine how quickly you get back up with business when the disruption ends. For now, you should focus on keeping them informed about your business and offering them content that inspires and encourages them.
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