How do you stay engaged with your customers when you can’t interact with them as usual? The business landscape has changed entirely in the past month, and businesses are struggling to maintain customer and client relationships.
Before I dive into some tips I have that you can use to improve engagement with your customers, I want you to consider the fact that some aspects of the way we do business may never return to normal.
It was already getting hard to drive foot traffic through your front door. Customers are going to become even more used to acquiring products and services without ever meeting face to face.
Businesses also need to ensure they are diversified enough to survive times like this, where some products and services are not considered “essential.”
This Covid-19 situation has ushered in a new era of digital communication where everybody now knows how to video chat. Realtors are showing houses virtually. Car dealerships are selling cars over Zoom meetings. It’s pretty crazy how fast this transition took place. It fascinates me how quickly we can adapt as a society when we have to.
So let’s dive into my 5 Tips for Staying Engaged With Your Customers:
I know it was annoying at first when we started receiving Covid-19 emails from every company we ever had contact with, but people must know you are still there to serve them.
We are deep enough into this to know that we still need to interact with the outside world. People will assume that a lack of communication means the business has closed.
If you have customer email addresses, now is the time to send them an email. You can easily set up an Email Marketing Account with ConvertKit, which is free up to 500 email addresses. I am using ConvertKit to send you this email. I will be publishing a video on how to do this soon, so go set up your free ConvertKit account and watch for an email from me soon.
If you have a social media presence, keep posting. Share some of what life looks like now at your company. That might mean posting a photo from your makeshift office in the dining room of your home. It’s relatable. Many of us are working from wherever we can find space in our home.
Educate Your Customers
Whether you supply your customers with products or services, now is the time to teach them how to do something on their own. A great example is a hairstylist making videos on Instagram that show clients how to trim their hair. Hair salons are closed, but people still want to look decent. Nobody is going to cut their hair by themselves forever, but the hairstylist who helps people through these hard times will gain customers when this situation is over.
How can you educate your customers during this time? What problems were you solving for them with your products or services that they can’t utilize right now? Consider teaching them how to get by on their own for now.
Offer Consultations, Training, or Q&A
I made my offer above; you can offer your customers something special as well. Reach out to your customers and offer them direct access to you or other key people in your company.
You could host a Customer Summit on Zoom to bring your customers together to learn about a topic. I am considering offering to host a free 30-Minute Summit on Digital Marketing to my B2B customers. Consider bringing someone in from your industry to host a Zoom session with your customers.
Q&A sessions are great ideas for service providers. A massage therapist could host a Q&A session on the topic of wellness while social distancing. There are endless ways you can be engaging with your customers through video chat tools like Zoom.
I read a study Adobe conducted on the impact of their own customer summits, which showed that 80% of attendees discovered new skills that impacted their organization and their careers.
Produce Some Content
Invest in Content Marketing during this time. That doesn’t mean you have to hire an agency. Now is an excellent time to start that company blog or even a personal blog on a specific topic. A good content strategy will increase traffic to your website and help you grow an email list. People give me their email address to receive notifications when I publish something new. Though I am only sending this email to my clients, my main email list is close to 20,000 subscribers.
Not sure what to create? Look at what your competitors are doing. If they aren’t doing anything, look at similar businesses to yours in other markets.
Perhaps what we really need during this time is personal reassurance. If I had a mortgage right now, I would appreciate a call from my loan officer. I would want to know what my options are and if now would be a good time to refinance. My insurance agent might call to see how I’m doing and ask if I have any questions about my policies and what’s going on right now.
I believe that in times like this, silence is deadly for businesses. If you are not communicating, you are going to start losing customers. If your customers have options, they might just be spending their downtime looking at them. As people look to reel in their expenses and reevaluate the products and services they consume, you want to make sure you are providing more value than your competitor. A simple call might be all it takes.
Until Next Time
I am trying my best to keep all of my own plates spinning. I hope that you have been able to find some sort of normal in all of this. Here is one last tip for you on internet safety.
Staying safe means more than just social distancing. Many of us are using new tools and services that we are not used to. Make sure you are using strong passwords and protecting your accounts using Two-Factor Authentication if possible. I always turn on Two-Factor. It adds a second step to logging in, but my accounts never get hacked (*knocks on wood).
I trust all is well with you and your family. Please reach out to us if there is anything we can do to help.