Creative Ways For Maintaining Customer Relationships When Business Isn't "As Usual"

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customer relationships

During the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis or any other time when business isnít running as usual, it can feel like youíre losing touch with your customers. To help make sure your business survives this challenging period, we present the top seven ways for maintaining customer relationships.

How you communicate and engage with your customers when business isnít as running as usual can impact whether youíll come out on top. There are so many strategies for maintaining customer relationships during the COVID-19 crisis, from producing intriguing social media content to perfecting your live streams. Even if you were completely satisfied with your businessís customer engagement before the coronavirus outbreak, how you connect with customers has now had to change. Use this time to adapt your strategies and take your businessís customer relationships to the next level. The more creative, the betterÖ

Creative ways for maintaining customer relationships when business isnít as usual

1. Try new content formats

With people in every corner of the globe participating in social distancing, thereís never been more people at home with time on their hands and browsing the internet. Think of ways your business can create content that will help or entertain them, and you should be able to stay connected with your existing customers and even secure new ones.

For example, if you own a restaurant business but have never shared cooking tips or new recipes for people to try at home, why not start now? Take it one step further and use Facebook Live to provide virtual cooking lessons.

2. Live stream valuable content

There are so many ways your business can get creative with live streams. The platform works perfectly for gym businesses, as personal trainers can perform workout classes to fitness fanatics who miss the gym. Live streams are also being used by schools and tutoring franchises that are delivering lessons to students across the UK.

With live streaming, you can reach thousands of customers at a click of a button, who can then engage with your business in multiple ways. Customers choose to buy from brands they like and trust. Live videos are a great way for you to build and reinforce trust; in trying times like the COVID-19 crisis, this couldnít be more important. And, with 80 percent of audiences preferring to watch live videos from a brand than read a blog post, what have you got to lose?

Find out more about Facebook Live and how to choose the right social media channel to promote your business in another one of our articles.

3. Ask customers what they want

No one knows what your customers want more than they do themselves. The COVID-19 crisis is impacting everyone differently. Although everyone in the UK is following the same government guidelines, it doesnít mean all of our experiences are the same.

So, it can be beneficial to ask your customers what they want from your business during this period. In some ways, you can let your customers guide your crisis strategy so you know that youíre communicating in the right way and providing the products or services that people want. It also can start an open conversation where you continue to connect with customers while they canít visit your business in person.

4. Set up a hotline

This can be an effective way to show customers that youíre still there for them. Schedule some time, then customers can phone or DM you about any questions or issues they have.

5. Send helpful and informative newsletters

Email customers with a newsletter that covers your opening hours, any discounts youíre offering as a result of the COVID-19 crisis, shipping timelines and cleaning protocols youíre implementing. When creating the newsletter, ask yourself whether youíre offering a solution to your customersí problems.

With consumers receiving a wave of coronavirus emails from businesses, try to resist messaging with bland or irrelevant responses.

Anything you can do to humanise [your communications] ó if you can make it funny, thatís great as well Ė author at Rio SEO

At this stage, youíve probably already informed customers of the steps your business has had to take since the enforced lockdown. However, when it gradually starts to get lifted, youíll want to make sure your customers are kept in the loop.

6. Increase the value of loyalty points

Demonstrating that you are just as loyal to your customers as they are to you is key to customer engagement. An excellent way to achieve this is increasing the value of their loyalty card points. Not only does this keep your existing customers happy, but it shows potential customers that you are a brand that gives back to customers.

7. Introduce more payment options

Itís safe to say that lots of us will feel a financial strain during and after the COVID-19 crisis. Adding payment tools like Afterpay or Klarna means that customers can pay in instalments. Once you do this, post about it on your social media to let your customers know and show that youíre taking cash flow issues into consideration.

Follow these tips for maintaining customer relationships

Hopefully by keeping these strategies in mind, you can stay connected with customers during this frightening period and any other circumstances when business isnít as usual. We also recommend you check out another one of our articles exploring why staying connected with customers is critical during this time and nine business strategies to help make sure your business makes a comeback.

If these circumstances have resulted in you having more time on your hands than normal, you might want to read more of our coronavirus content. We have a large bank of articles to browse.

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