Connecting with Customers During COVID
By Jaci Schreckengost
During COVID, it’s more important than ever to let your customers know you truly care about them.
A study from Accenture found 64 percent of consumers in the United States say “a company’s ethical values and authenticity” are components they factor in before making a purchase. In addition, 42 percent of U.S. “consumers have stopped doing business with a company because of its words or actions about a social issue.”
Below are some ways to make sure your clients know you really care about them.
Engage with customers (more) on social media
Though it may seem intuitive, social media is a great way to connect with your customers, clients, and supporters during this time. Whether you’re commenting on their posts or sharing helpful resources, there are small ways to make big impacts on your customers.
It is important to make sure you’re only sharing informational and helpful resources. You don’t want to overwhelm your followers with pieces that could simply make them feel more anxious about the situation.
Host virtual events
If you were supposed to have an in-person event, or even if you just want to connect with your followers, a virtual event is a great way to do that. Whether it’s a Happy Hour on a weekend evening or a more professional lunch meeting to catch up, this is a great way to invite your followers to participate in conversations about the brand, themselves, and your products.
Create opportunities for your followers to help
This, of course, will differ based on the current status of your business. Below are different ways to help, no matter what situation your business is in currently.
If your business itself needs support, give your customers the opportunity to purchase gift cards to use when your business is open again later. This is a great way to support your own business, while giving your customers the chance to stock up on their favorite products when the business is open again.
If you still have the opportunity to make sales, elect that a percentage of your sales go toward a nonprofit organization that is supporting the community. You can select one nonprofit, or multiple. Choosing multiple would let the customer pick the nonprofit their percentage goes to when they are checking out. This can make the experience feel a bit more personal. For example, New Highs is donating 30% of all sales through June 30, 2020, to Loveland Foundation to support communities of color in unique and powerful ways.
A great way for anyone to help, regardless of whether or not your business is open, is to support a nonprofit. You can select a nonprofit for your followers to donate to if they have the ability.
Read also: Quarantine, Remote, Repeat
Show (more) appreciation
Whether they’re still buying from your store like normal, or supporting the business by purchasing gift cards, it’s important to show customers even more gratitude than normal. Of course, this applies all the time, but right now, it’s important to be sure they know. Whether it’s sharing an Instagram story, Retweeting a client, or sending a message to them to thank them for a purchase, each shows you care.