2020… what a ride! It’s fair to say that we all, and we truly mean all of us, have been thrown some curveballs to deal with this year on just about every level.
We didn’t want to mention it by name as, frankly, it’s been given more publicity than Katie Price’s poor outfit choices over the past few months, but Covid-19 has presented businesses of every size, shape, style and substance with enormous challenges to overcome. Whether it be logistical, operational, financial or morale-based, companies have had to adapt and overcome however possible, not only having to communicate more than ever with employees, but with customers, too.
Now, we’re not saying that it’s not been important to communicate with customers before. Building a solid, open rapport with customers in every industry is a vital part of success and sustainability when it comes to business, but Covid-19 has made this more prominent than ever.
Whether it’s been adapted working hours, new processes in place, cancellations of events or grand reopenings, communication has been key to ensuring businesses let their customers know what’s happening and – most importantly- how they can carry on supporting them/ working together. Businesses who simply stopped all comms once lockdown hit have faced the enormous challenge or reengaging with their customer base, who may have moved on, or – worse – lost faith. Those that thrived, and continue to do so with lockdown measures still in place, are those who keep the conversation alive; regularly updating customers on their business, letting them know new processes and working with them to adapt how they could carry on doing business together.
Now, we know that the effect of lockdown has been catastrophic for some and we’re not suggesting that any level of communication could have saved that. Far from it. However, what Covid has shown us is that in the age of digital, it’s more possible than ever to keep conversation going to help keep those valued customers engaged, no matter what’s going on with the business.
With that in mind, we’ve put together our top tips on keeping in touch effectively:
- Update, update, update!
It’s vital that your customers are in the know with what’s going on with your business. Customers in any arena – whether it be B2B or B2C – will assume the worst if they don’t hear from you, so keeping in touch regularly with updates on what’s happening is more important than ever. Working from home? Not an issue, let them know. Changing opening hours? Great, shout about it from the rooftops. Need to deliver some bad news about service or stock levels? Take a deep breath and get in touch. They’ll understand as long as they’re kept in the loop. Better yet, honesty breeds trust; arguably the most vital component in any business-customer relationship.
- Keep it social
Many customers, particularly in the B2C arena, will rely on social media to see what you’re up to and gauge the level of business you’re offering. Keeping posts regular will make sure they know you’re still there and open for business, giving them the confidence to get in touch or visit should they need you. Social is also a great way of communicating updates quickly, like a grand reopening, or change to working hours. It’s also important to keep an eye on comments/ engagements and any messages you’re sent, aiming to reply as quickly as possible to foster good relations
- Ask for feedback
How to keep your customer happy? Give them what they need. If you don’t ask, you don’t know, so don’t be afraid to ask for feedback on your service, new processes, products or whatever it may be. This will give you valuable information on how well you’re doing in customers’ eyes, as well as empowering you with the knowledge needed to continue growing, adapting and achieving success. Our Forms tool makes getting the answers you need from customers easier than ever; check it out here.
As a wise advert once said, it’s good to talk. So do it!