As the COVID 19 pandemic begins to abate in many areas, businesses, large and small who were impacted by the crisis begin a fight back to generate sales revenue and try and recoup some of the inevitable losses brought on by lockdowns, logistics dilemmas and production shutdowns.
For many, healthy cash flow could mean survival. Businesses need a steady flow of repeat customers because loyal customers can help them boost revenues for supplies and generate profit.
In building back better, it’s more important than ever to forge strong customer relations and focus on customer retention as increasingly consumers are moving online for a majority of their shopping. It’s true, customer relationships are built over time through the interactions customers have with the brand. A positive user experience guarantees the customer will be back to buy from the business again.
Focusing on the customer experience and providing excellent customer service, will build and strengthen long-term relationships. Yet, as with all relationships, business relationships can be challenging and must adapt to change. With social distancing pushing many shoppers online where the competition can be even more fierce than the physical world, stand-out customer service can be the winning edge to ensure a good experience and keep customers coming back for more.
Yet, how can a company improve their customer service? Here are a few suggestions for best customer service practices that may help you survive, if not thrive, during and post pandemic:
Show customers that you care about what’s going on in the world and are looking to improve your service to make life easier for them! Putting the customer’s needs first will strike a feel-good chord with them. Forget bombarding them with sales letters, take a softer approach and send them an email addressing the current problems and how your company is trying to improve things for them.
Be honest! Let customers see that behind your company image are real people who are also being affected by COVID. Let them know that you will keep them informed of changes to policy that will affect them, and seek their input (surveys, questionnaires, etc.) for ways you can improve. Communicate with customers on social media and through your website and keep the communication open and updated.
Explain in detail, that despite the circumstances, you will continue to provide excellent service, and make every accommodation possible to lessen the impact of the pandemic for everyone. Let customers know that understand that the pandemic has changed people’s habits, and that your company is willing to adapt to new ways of doing business to make transitions as easy and convenient as possible.
In this technological age, it’s vital to adapt your marketing methods and embrace the digital world. Nearly everyone has a smartphone these days which has given rise to m-commerce, or mobile commerce, (shopping through a mobile device such as a smartphone). Last year m-commerce accounted for around 45% of the total e-commerce market. Digital technology is rapidly developing into a way to reach customers anywhere in the world at any time. Customers can shop online 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. With this kind of availability, you need a good customer management software to stay on top of your marketing campaigns and generate new leads.
Essential digital marketing tools:
Posting on your website, blog, and social media channels is a way to stay connected to customers and get valuable feedback on how your company measures up. Tell them about upcoming changes to your operation, including additional staff, holiday specials, and extended business hours. If you have a physical location and an ecommerce site, that means more options for the customer, and more opportunities for sales. The idea is to keep talking to customers and you can do this easily by installing the super smart StagFoxcustomer engagement device, link it to your own app, and leave it to keep your customers engaged, informed, and converted! And you don’t have to lose out if you don’t have an app. You can easily create offers and get feedback using the StagFox mobile app.
Let customers know what they can expect when they shop in your store, and online. Do they require masks to shop in-store, to socially distance, and pay electronically? What accommodations have you put in place for elderly or frail shoppers?Can shoppers order online and pickup in-store? Explain these policies to customers, so they know what to expect.
Customers have questionsand having someone available to answer them is an important plus. There is nothing more frustrating to customers than trying to contact a business to ask a question and not be able to reach someone. This type of service, as well as many others, can be outsourced to save time and make more services available to customers. Again, the StagFox customer engagement device is a bonus here – it will be able to give customers instant feedback – and even canvass them for feedback on their entire experience with you – it’s an all-round winner.
Things may never truly go back to the way they were before COVID-19, but weathering a crisis together makes people stronger and more resilient. Maintaining good customer relations gives companies the chance to show support for their customers and their communities. Going above and beyond what is required or even expected, is the best way to improve customer service and the user experience in the lives of loyal customers.
Focus your company’s marketing efforts on digital resources like emails, newsletters, blog content, social media posts, infographics, and more. More people are using social media for much more than just posting photos and staying connected to family far away.
Social media is its own network, and is invaluable for brand awareness, lead generation, audience engagement, and most of your other social marketing goals.
There are many advantages to using social media for business. Social media use is increasing, and more people shop for products, read reviews, and look up businesses based on recommendations from others in their social network. Here are a few of the benefits of using social media for your business.
Millions use social media every day for a variety of things. It makes sense to go where the customers are and connect with them. Roughly 60% of Instagram users say they find new products using the platform, making it well worth your while.
For businesses to stand out in the crowd, they need their own unique voice and personality. Social media is the perfect vehicle for this, allowing you to develop an identity and a voice to showcase your brand values and engage with followers. Engaging with customers lets them get to know you and what you stand for. Many people choose businesses with similar values to their own.
Social media lets businesses stand out from the competition and establish themselves as industry leaders. This can be accomplished by sharing creative content on Instagram, writing informative posts for LinkedIn, or connecting with consumer groups on Facebook.
When you post interesting and engaging content, your followers may click your link and visit your website to see what else you have published. This means increased website traffic and more sales for you. If you link pages on your website by category, your visitors can go from one page to another, which means they will remain on your website longer increasing your chances of making a sale.
During a crisis like the pandemic, maintaining customer loyalty is vital to the success of any business. Acknowledging how important customers are, companies should do everything possible to maintain customer relationships and build a strong foundation with great customer service to keep loyal customers coming back again and again.