The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a global economic downturn. Businesses are shutting down, some even permanently as commerce and spending drops like a rock. In tough times like these, supporting existing customers is a must, even if they are not likely to be spending their money on your products anytime soon. How businesses treat their customers and deliver value even during a crisis will make a difference in the long run.
Here are a few areas to keep in mind to maintain a top-notch customer experience throughout the ongoing crisis.
Cover the basics
Keep regular contact with your customers via updates on your operations, services, products, and support that is available to them. If your staff is now working from home, share the new working hours, best ways to purchase your products, and new contact methods. Just staying in touch can help maintain relationships.
Study your customers
Never stop learning about your customers. With even less customer activity, it is more important than ever to monitor what it is they need. What customers do now can help your company meet their needs then the crisis passes. Identify unmet needs, new pain points and emerging trends so you can get a jump-start on responding to them.
If anything, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught businesses that digital can make or break a company in a time of crisis. With social distancing measures being put in place all around the world, customers will be relying more on social media to keep in touch with people and businesses will want to be a part of that world too. Ask or assign employees to engage with customers and promote your brand and what your organisation is doing.
Rethink the customer experience
It goes without saying that COVID-19 has brought about a ‘new normal’ that businesses will need to adhere to. As such, the customer experience will need to change to align with the new normal. Take a look at every touch point and, for those that aren’t digital now, find ways to turn them digital going forward.
Now is the time to be more empathetic and flexible. Your business is not the only one facing hardships; your customers are too. Take another look at policies that are strict and rigid and see if you can bend them where possible. For example, you could maybe extend warranty coverage or temporarily eliminate cancellation fees.
Let customers know what you are doing to help. Are employees giving their time to help local food distribution? Are some working on the frontline? Do you have products or services being used to fight the pandemic? Don’t look at it as bragging. See it as letting customers know that you care more than just about selling. It may even inspire more participation.