Plenty of businesses have found themselves in a very difficult situation caused by the ongoing crisis. They have been losing clients and there doesn't seem to be an easy way out of this. Plus, there's not much that businesses can do to fight coronavirus except following the government restrictions.
However, there are companies out there managing to stay afloat and retain their customers, even in a situation like this. How do they manage to pull it off? We compiled a list of common tips and recommendations illustrated by some real-life examples that might help your business as well.
Stay sharp and don't lose your grip
When put under stress, people often tend to make impulsive and illogical actions. Behaving this way will deter your customers from you. Therefore, staying calm during the quarantine madness is the key to success.
Take a deep breath and make a plan. Try to do some research and analyze all the possible outcomes of the current situation for your business. How exactly will you respond if the situation stays the same for longer or even gets worse? This will help you to come up with a plan, and no business has ever regretted having a contingency plan.
A plan will give you a sense of control over the situation, which is exactly what you need to stay confident in communication with your clients.
They need to know that your business is here for them and you support them in this tough time.
Talk to your customers
While news spreads panic about the number of infected people and the declining economy, you should cheer your customers up. Show them that you understand the situation they and their families are in. The messages you send to your customers through emails, social media or other tools you use should be filled with empathy and your understanding of their concerns.
Give your customers advice on something you are really good at. For example, if you run a bakery but it’s temporarily closed due to the quarantine, you can conduct online masterclasses about baking at home. This way, your customers will feel that you care about them and remain loyal to you.
Whatever your message may be, always make it honest and do not create false expectations.
Show your appreciation to the old clients
Your loyal clients deserve more than a “one-size-fits-all” approach. Contact them to say thanks for being with you even in a difficult time and that you hope to see them as soon as possible. You might even throw in some special offers available exclusively for loyal clients only during the quarantine.
For instance, clients of Adobe’s Creative Cloud apps are given the ability to use temporary «at-home» access for students and educators. It's available until the end of May for higher education and for K-12 institutions.
Provide financial help
The current concern of many people is money. As companies had to suspend their operations for an indefinite period of time, a lot of workers were left without a source of income. Depending on your market niche, you can help your customers in various ways:
Provide additional discounts
Give away some of your products
Give free access to your content (if your business is subscription-based)
Anything that you can think of that can make the life of your clients a bit easier is good to go. Your customers will be grateful for the support and stick with your brand through these rough times.
In addition to being a smart marketing move to attract some new customers, there are plenty of other benefits such a strategy can provide for your business:
Increases your brand recognition
Helps your customers to stay engaged with your brand
Generates free media coverage and spreads the word of mouth
Examples of such tactics include:
Apple TV Plus opened free access to the original TV series
HBO gave free access to a bunch of original content (9 TV shows, 20 movies, 9 documentaries, and more)
Metropolitan Museum of Art opened free access to over 1,600 online books
Time to innovate
In everyday life, a lot of companies are too busy serving their clients to stop even for a minute and dedicate some time to product development or innovation. Now, you have a great opportunity to take care of it. Review your products or services to understand how they suit your customers’ needs and whether there is room for optimization.
You may have heard a lot of examples of companies switching to online delivery and benefitting from that. However, when you think about industries like travel, it seems like there is no way they could go online since their very foundation is offline. Well, Faroe Islands Tourist Board Begs to Differ.
They launched a remote tourism tool
allowing its users to explore various locations across the Faroe Islands via a live video camera and controls you can use to look around.
In a complete absence of tourists (for obvious quarantine reasons), these guys have still managed to find a way to promote their country and attract tourists, even if it’s just an online experience. It would be safe to guess that some of those “virtual” tourists will be glad to actually visit the Faroe Islands once the quarantine is lifted.
Utilize Social Media & Other Communication Channels
These days, people are on social media round the clock. Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter have become the go-to sources of news, entertainment, and communication.
This creates a great opportunity for you to make a strong debut or revitalize your brand on social media attracting more customers.
Improve and grow your social media page: post interesting content, tell about your company and how your employees cope with the quarantine, make entertaining polls, etc.
Here is a bunch of ideas you can expand on:
COVID-19 alert messages via SMS or push notifications (inform your customers about the changes in your working hours, delivery terms, return policy changes and more)
“We’re in this together” messages (support your clients with a positive message and encourage them to take all the safety measures)
Entertainment (not everyone is following death case numbers 24/7 - a lot of people now are in dire need of some relief. Whether it’s memes, challenges, or simply a compilation of positive news, this type of content will be very popular among your users)
Community support campaigns (try to think of the ways your business could help your local community to survive the hard times - whether it’s volunteering, donations, or support campaigns, any real help will be appreciated.
For example, entrepreneur Mark Cuban who owns an NBA team Dallas Mavericks has announced that all of his employees will be reimbursed
for any lunch and coffee purchases from independent local businesses.
No one was prepared for the Coronavirus crisis but the distinctive feature of a good businessman is the ability to quickly find a way out of problems and keep their business prosper.
We must remember that the consumer demand didn't just vanish. Consumers have simply become extra cautious about the price and quality ratio, also known as value. If your company can still put out the best value on the market, then your business should be safe during the crisis and long after it.
Treat your customers with due respect and address (better yet anticipate) their needs with a swift response.
Your Bitrix24 team