Rebuild pre-pandemic connections with customers with these tips.
There are reasons to be optimistic that the COVID-19 pandemic will soon be over, and businesses will be able to open to full capacity. After more than a year of creative operations to keep workers and customers safe — e.g., online ordering, curbside pickup, and video conferencing with clients — it may take some time to adjust and reconnect.
Engaging with new audiences and loyal customers who stuck with you through the hard times will be key to bouncing back after COVID-19. That’s why we developed this helpful guide for ways to connect with customers:
- Listen and learn
- Continue to focus on digital
- Offer virtual options
- Be transparent
- Reward loyalty
- Engage in new and exciting ways
Read on for more on ways to connect with customers.
Listen and learn
Frequent, honest customer communication is vital to understanding where they’re at and showing you care. Budgets and priorities may have shifted, and you need to be proactive about gauging how your business can meet customers’ new needs.
Schedule phone calls with your best customers, send out email surveys, and engage one-on-one with fans and followers on social media. Look for emerging trends or patterns and be prepared to make shifts in your own business model, too.
Continue to focus on digital
Chances are, you’ve already spent the past year evaluating and growing your website, e-commerce platform, and social media accounts.
Customers have gotten used to being able to browse specific products and services, watch video stories, and learn about your hours or safety protocols with just a few clicks. Now is not the time to abandon the progress you’ve made in the digital space. Even after in-person services resume, these consumer expectations will remain.
Your staffing needs may also need modification to accommodate the growth of digital commerce and customer match. Consider hiring or strengthening your social media team to share engaging stories, training support staff to answer questions through your website or online chat, and creating a nimble team of web designers and developers who can build and improve innovative engagement options such as e-commerce, live streaming, and more.
Offer virtual options
The use of video chats for service calls or self-service kits has also expanded. While not all services can go virtual, consider emerging technologies so you can offer remote or online services in addition to the more standard face-to-face methods. Giving customers flexible options will increase the likelihood of a long-lasting relationship.
Once you’re ready to fully re-open, communicate clearly and consistently across all platforms. Use email lists, website pop-ups, blog posts, and social media to announce new hours, new products, or safety protocols that remain in place. If your company has a physical location, update your Google My Business listing. You might also make personal phone calls to top clients or throw a celebratory “back to business” party once it is deemed safe.
Find a way to say “thank you” to the customers and clients who stuck with you during challenging times. Identify your top clients or returning shoppers and offer value-adds, discounts, or perks. Ask customers to generate buzz about your business online in exchange for pre-order opportunities or contest entries.
Engage in new and exciting ways
Stand apart from the competition by hosting a combination of virtual events and small in-person gatherings. Schedule live steams, offer free lessons or classes, or host virtual meetups for customers with common interests.
Don’t be afraid to get creative (while still staying on brand). Ask customers to try out your products and record a video review that you can share across platforms. You might host an interactive giveaway or contest, interviews with industry influencers, or a series of musical performances.
EZ Office Products can help supply your business with whatever you need to keep employees and customers safe, comfortable, and productive post-pandemic. Shop our online catalog or connect with our local customer concierge team to set up your business account by calling (608) 310-4300.