Since the worldwide outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, there has been an unprecedented disruption of business, as well as the economy in tatters. The devastation of public health along with the economy, has been on a scale never seen before. Businesses are struggling to reopen after the sudden halt that it was forced to due to the measures from the lockdown taken by governments and local administrations to halt the spread of infection. Social distancing, closure of educational institutions, working from home, cancellation of flights, travel bans, and the banning of events and social gatherings have all been hit with a massive blow.
As millions of people stay confined at home or lead highly restricted lives to stay safe from the coronavirus, it has become extremely challenging for businesses to maintain continuity amid the pandemic, observes Bradley J Beman. Even companies that are opening are unable to gather momentum as customer behavior is also changing.
This is a frustrating time for entrepreneurs as they are at a loss for implementing big plans. However, there are ways of doing work to keep the business’s credibility intact by focusing on customer relationships to help keep the brand and business alive in the minds of customers. Brad Beman suggests that during this time, when you are unable to carry out normal business activities, you should develop new relationships and bolster existing ones to boost your efforts in business revival.
Despite the brief stoppage of operations, you can continue building relationships by adopting the following techniques.
Bradley Beman Advises Reviewing Past Conversations
Now that you have plenty of time on your side, now is the right moment to look closely at how you operate by conducting an audit. How you communicated with your customers will become clearer through an audit. Start by going through previous messages exchanged with your customers and observe earlier emails that reveal how you presented your business and brand. Consider whether you are setting the right tone right from the beginning. The tone of the message creates a distinct identity of the brand, but also influences the way the audience perceives your communication and how it reaches through the brand to the company. Ask yourself, does your messaging and communication technology help to uphold your knowledge and authority in the industry niche?
How responsive you are to your customer queries and complaints and whether the responses were within a timely matter, help build customer trust. If you find some lacunae in your client communication techniques, create a new, more effective policy. Set standards for metrics such as a customer wait time for receiving responses so that you can measure whether or not you are improving.
If you feel that your existing customer communication policy is satisfactory, evaluate your experience of customer interactions to understand the client’s priorities as to help engage with them in the right way.
Reach Out but do Not Pitch
There may be various reasons for a disruption in customer communication, whether it be a societal or personal emergency. This does not mean that you are intentionally ignoring your customers, only that priorities have shifted. To regain the lost communication link, send a follow-up message that is polite but persuasive while being careful not to put pressure on the customer to make decisions. The intention of your first message should be to learn more about their situation and to offer your help.
If some customers are unwilling to engage, respect their decision without ill feelings, and deter from pestering them with more emails. Pay attention to customers who are ready to devote their time to you. Now that you understand there is a way to push towards making favorable decisions, you can start communicating accordingly.
Think about How to Accommodate Customers
Accommodating each and every customer can become quite complicated if you try to do it too quickly. Plan to make accommodations for each current situation without affecting business interests. If you receive similar feedback from a large section of customers, you can think of implementing accommodations across the board to keep things level. Depending on the customer, you can also consider offering a discount.
Since you want to get your business back on track as soon as the revival from the pandemic comes, stay prepared by closely tracking your communications with customers to identify those willing to go along with you. Pay utmost attention to these customers as they follow you along in the journey to restart your business in a new era, after COVOD 19.