Undoubtedly, like the rest of us, you have received dozens of COVID-19 related emails from your bank, credit card company, mortgage company, grocery store, your eye doctor, kids’ school, online retailers, and many more.
Communicating with customers regularly is something we have always advocated, and we think it is especially important during times of uncertainty and public concern. We urge you to reach out to your customers, but we also encourage you to do so in a meaningful way.
Here are a few examples of helpful ways to communicate with customers:
- Remind them of something helpful you offer: One of our clients who is a SaaS (Software as a Service) provider sent an email to remind their clients that their software includes private portals and available mobile apps which allow employees to enter information anywhere without having to share the same terminal or office. Furthermore, they encouraged their clients to call them to find out how to turn these options on and be taught how to use them.
- Extend offers beyond face-to-face interactions: One of our clients was exhibiting in a home show last weekend and offered a substantial discount to show attendees. Since they got the word that attendance would be down due to the pandemic fears, they sent out an email informing everyone that the show special would be available by phone or via email too.
- Offer discounted gift cards now for later use: If you are concerned about cash flow now due to slower foot traffic, send a message to your customers and let them know they can purchase a discounted gift card now, to use later. For example, if you own a restaurant, offer customers to buy a $50 gift card online now for only $45.
- Utilize video conferencing tools: If your business is of a consultative nature and regularly conducted face-to-face, switch to video conferencing for now, and let your customers know they can continue to benefit from what you have to offer. There are countless video conferencing options to choose from, and many are free. The ubiquitous broadband access on practically any device makes it a very feasible option
- Offer to reschedule: If customers are cancelling purchases or considering doing so (events, trips, visits, etc.), offer to reschedule instead. You may want to consider sweetening the deal if they reschedule with a free (or discounted) upgrade, if applicable.
- Introduce your offering to home-bound and office-bound people: If your product or service is suitable for when people prefer to stay at home or not leave their office as much as they used to, introduce yourself and let them know how to get a hold of you. This applies to many different categories, including pick-up delivery services, online services, and more.
The point is, don’t just tell your target audience how concerned you are and how diligent you are being – Tell them how you can help make their lives more comfortable during these unprecedented circumstances.
If you have questions or need help putting a message together, we’re happy to help.
Duke Merhavy, MBA, Ph.D.
President & Chief Marketing Officer