Why customer communication is crucial in times of uncertainty

Many small business owners are worried about COVID-19 and customers. It’s easy to be afraid of saying the wrong things and limit communication with your customers. You shouldn’t be silent. Clientele need to hear from your company, not only now but also during crisis situations.

The community needs to know about any new policies, programs or order statuses. They also need information on shipping delays and shipping delays. New customers also need to know whether your business is open for business and if you have inventory.

You will be supported by your customers during this time of shutdown due to the incredible outpouring support for local and small businesses. Although we may feel isolated, it’s not necessary to shut down your business. You just need to look at your messaging.

The right tone

Many business owners worry about appearing too salesy during times of crisis. Remember that your community wants you to stay in business and will look to brands they trust for support and options.

Empathy is key to messaging. We are all in this together. Your customers should know that you care about them. Let your customers know if they have any concerns about your products or services. For example, whether they are safe to receive delivery or how they will receive vital health treatment.

 

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It doesn’t mean you have to know everything before you get in touch. It is constantly changing (sometimes even hourly!) We are all trying to find the right solution at the same moment. Keep updates brief and calm. If you are still working out details, let them be aware that you are working on it.

Learn more:

Create offers that help

Consider what you can offer clients to help them through this crisis. Highlight those options in your messaging, online store and website.

Consider offering:

  • Local customers can have their packages delivered to their front door without contact. Clear instructions are provided on how to support employees’ health and sterilize the packaging.
  • For clients out of town who are unable to get to local stores, we offer reduced or free shipping
  • Recurring customers facing financial uncertainty may be eligible for discounts or special bundles.
  • You get added value with every purchase. This includes bonus checklists and one-on-one consultations.
  • For loyal customers who are willing to help you through these difficult times, gift certificates can be purchased.

Make sure that your new offerings comply with social distancing regulations. Virtually every business can offer some type of remote or online service. This is the perfect time to grow into online sales, online courses, site memberships, remote appointments, and digital courses. By providing as many online services as possible, customers can be assured that you are keeping their safety in mind.

Get in touch

There are so many ways to communicate with customers. You might consider creating a client communication checklist.

Your basic business information should be updated

  • Your website should reflect current hours. Customers should know whether you accept phone orders, offer video consultations or are an essential business. Make sure you update both your Google My Business listing and Bing Business listing simultaneously.
  • Any new contact information, such as dedicated email addresses or phone numbers, should be added to your website.
  • You might consider adding an alert message to your homepage that explains how your business keeps its products and staff safe, any purchase limits applicable, and any changes in shipping or shopping policies.
Forest Whole Foods has updated their delivery page to reflect COVID-19 policies

Upgrading your WooCommerce storefront

  • Any new services or packages can be added to your product line.
  • You can add any extensions to power new online services like WooCommerce bookings for online consultations or Smart Coupons gift certificates or Local pickup Plus pickup scheduling.
  • Update shipping rates and classes.
  • Your automatic emails should be up-to-date. Notify clients of delays in shipping and highlight any new delivery procedures, refund policies or cancellation policies.
  • If you offer discounts to customers who return, create coupons.

Leverage your client email list

  • Send an email to past customers and potential customers, to let them know that you care about them and are taking precautions to keep them safe.
  • Directly to your clients, announce new products, offers, special deals, and process modifications.
  • To avoid chargebacks or refunds for late deliveries, communicate clearly your delivery expectations.
  • If your business’s status changes, send updates.
Adventure Parc Snowdonia shared details about their temporary closure on social media

Social media should be kept up-to-date

  • Social media is a great way to share announcements and links to official policies that apply to your community and business.
  • Open Q&A sessions via social media platforms are a great way to reassure clients, and to help them get the results they desire.
  • Cross-promote any offers that you have created to be of assistance in these times for those with limited mobility or financial uncertainty.
  • Advertise your classes online or virtual events.

Blog posts can be added to help explain more complex issues

  • Blog posts are a great way to discuss issues that impact your customers. Topics that are great include employee safety guidelines, employee appreciation, product safety procedures, and ideas for how to use your products to pass time include: new product delivery options; product safety processes; product safety process improvements.
  • This information can be linked to on your social media pages and in your newsletters.

Your customers need to hear from your company for guidance and reassurance. Your customers’ repeat business will help to survive this crisis. The same goes for your expansion into the internet world. We can all work together to help one another get through.

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