The Importance of Communicating with Customers During the Pandemic
Regardless of your industry, you most likely have customers or clients that have been affected by COVID-19 and have several questions about when life will return to normal. Although that return could still be a bit away, it is important that businesses, schools, nonprofits and other organizations communicate with their customers through the ongoing pandemic.
Moving forward with proactive outreach will benefit both you and your consumer base as it allows you to stay on top of their needs and concerns now, and manage their expectations during COVID-19 quarantine. It can also set you up long-term to be there for your consumers as you look towards getting back to a normal work environment and establishing a long-term recovery process following COVID-19.
In addition, below are several reasons why it is recommended to stay engaged with your customers now and well into the future.
Transparency is Key for Customers
As previously noted, customers will have questions about your services during the pandemic. Questions may range from:
- Is your business still open?
- What services are still available?
- If you are open, how are you ensuring the safety of your customers?
- If you are closed, when will you reopen?
Being able to provide this information and more to consumers is essential; it can help ease their concerns around visiting your organization’s buildings or facilities, or allow them to know when you will be open again.
Connectivity Creates Community
By now, we have most likely felt the isolating effecting of quarantine during the COVID-19
outbreak. Being separated from others could be hard for some, and it is important to let your customers know they are not alone in this and you are about their wellbeing. Regular communications help connect and unite people, creating a sense of community that people can gather around and use as quarantine continues.
Unique Times Can Spur Creative Ideas
Regardless of your industry, we are all in a new and unique situation together. The pandemic could spur new ideas in which you can interact or engage with your customers. For example, organizations may look to revamp their usual messages and posts on social media since platforms like Instagram and Tik Tok have become essential tools for highlighting how organizations are coping with quarantine.
If you’ve come across pics of dogs or cats at desks, you probably have a good idea of what we are talking about, and your consumers will enjoy this change of pace. It shows a new side of a business that may not have happened otherwise.
Building Long-Term Brand Loyalty
When you add all of the factors above, it also helps build brand loyalty. Consumers like companies, nonprofits or other organizations that make them feel unique, important and like they matter. These elements are critical to establishing not just a customer base, but a base that is committed to helping you grow now and once we have moved forward from COVID-19.
Engagement Keeps Your Staff Engaged
Staying engaged with your customers holds a big benefit to your staff, especially if they are teleworking during the pandemic. It could be very easy for employees to separate or distance themselves from work, but regular work to support consumers can help keep them actively engaged through quarantine. This will help prevent staff from falling behind in work, projects or customer needs when work will eventually return to normal.
Right now it is impossible to say when the COVID-19 quarantine will end and you can get back to providing services to your consumers, but following this recommendations can help establish a lasting relationship right now.
For additional information, recommendations or questions on staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit Xenophon Strategies’ COVID-19 Crisis Response webpage at: https://xenophonstrategies.com/covid-19-response.
Getting Back to Work is an ongoing series on health and safety regarding COVID-19 from Xenophon Strategies, in partnership with Dr. David Hamer, a professor at the Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine with more than 30 years of experience in epidemiological diseases. Through the partnership Xenophon is working with Dr. Hamer to provide science-based recommendations and guidance on how employers, employees, and families should best respond to and combat the COVID-19 pandemic.