5 easy ways of customer communication during Covid-19

Find out:

  • Why constant communication is more important than ever 
  • Which five possible tools to use and their advantages 
Reading time: 6 minutes

What started as a lousy joke in most peoples’ minds turned out to be one seemingly endless nightmare of the early 21st century. For many it is a time of grieving and suffering, but also about learning new things. Business owners, in particular the ones sticking to brick-and-mortar, feel a mixture of hope, fear, confusion and disbelief. The world and the consumers behavior have shifted in a short window of time and so must the way of communication. Evident is that the way you talk to your audience during the ongoing shutdowns and re-openings is going to mean the difference between survival or going under with your business.
Although it might look time consuming and connected to higher costs the distribution of personalized and useful communication is creating deep-rooted and sustainable relationships with your customers. Gartner, Inc. predicts that 80% of customer service organizations will have abandoned native mobile apps in favor of messaging for a better customer experience by 2025.
Ensure to stay in touch with your customers and constitute a digital touchpoint. Form your communication authentic and sensitive towards the single customers’ needs. Especially in this uncertain and fast-moving times you need to explore alternative of interactions.

Website

The first place people look for information when already familiar with your shop is also the easiest one to communicate with them. Simply put: Your website is not only representing you, your product and your services, but also a convenient and fast way for your clients to get in touch with you.
Make it visible to your customers that you are open for communication through public announcements on your webpage or your blog. Provide your clients different ways to contact you with a webchat on your website or online shop, your corporate email address or an online contact form.
If you do have customers email or phone number, bring them proactively into play. Keep in mind that customers don’t want to be spammed – use it only for relevant news.
Permanent availability will directly help you build a relationship and increase the customers trust in you.

Local search engines

Your customers are no longer just searching for stores on Google itself to find your website, but more and more directly on local search engines such as Google Maps, Apple Maps, Microsoft Bing and so on. With search queries like “mobile phone shop nearby” or “best hairdresser” customers seek out for the most efficient way of choosing a shop.
If you had been in the top 3 in the search list, you might have just won a new customer. The visibility is highly depending on your ranking. First, your account has to be filled in correctly and correspond to the contact information on your website. Secondly, the emotions of your customers need to be addressed by solid pictures and videos. After an appealing mobile view of your website is set up, you should link it as well to lead your customer to all information with just one click. Last, not least your reviews online are important for your ranking and your visibility.
Keeping up with new requests due to the pandemic, Google focuses on the combination of safety and in-store shopping experience. You can add special services like certain hygiene rules or pick up services with a minimum effort to your local search engine result and lead your customer to the right decision to pick your store out of dozens. The profiles on local search engines include as well a messenger option which your customer can use to directly contact you. 

Social Media Messenger

By January 2021 around 4,2 billion people worldwide are already using social media platforms every month.
These recordings clearly show how valuable social networks are and how they complement our lives nowadays. Social media allows users to share, interact and connect. It allows you to respond to customers’ questions and concerns and build a loyal customer base. Therefore, it is absolutely vital to integrate these platforms in your marketing and communication strategy.
Nowadays people look for social media profiles by companies. Already 64% expect them to interact in real time.
57% of consumers follow a brand on social media to learn about new products or services while 47% follow to stay up to date on company news. The customers engagement connected to a social media presence results in purchases or recommendations.
Besides Twitter or YouTube and many other social networking sites the most popular for retail are Instagram and Facebook. They provide messenger options which enable you to answer your customers in real time. Additionally, to expressing their gratitude or (un)satisfaction, the customers can receive guidance fast and in the most personal way rather than scrolling pages of Q&As.
Some of your customers may already have a strong digital attitude, but since more and more are forced to stay at home, this is an excellent opportunity to amplify the touchpoints to your customers.

WhatsApp

China is the pioneer when it comes to customer interaction. Their application WeChat permits several conceivable services like a bank account, video calls, sharing locations, book a doctor appointment, but of course as well search, buy and pay products. If data security is one of the concerns, 1.2 billion users prove the opposite.
However, Facebook’s instant messaging service WhatsApp is not too bad either, offering 2 billion users worldwide the opportunity to not only chat with friends but with companies as well. Most people use WhatsApp as their main communication tool which makes it even more convenient since you don’t have to switch apps. With a live chat session, you grab your customers at the right time and point – online. You offer them a contemporary, location-independent, personal shopping experience.  Many companies have already jumped on that bandwagon.
Not only well-known fashion brands like Zara use WhatsApp as their communication and customer service tool. Even the World Health Organization has started their international communication program on WhatsApp where people can ask questions regarding the corona pandemic as a safe information source.
Set up a WhatsApp Business Account, promote that number, list it in your contact details or even add your product catalog and you already give your customers the possibility to contact you with the comparable convenience of having a chat with a friend.
In case it comes to some misunderstanding or miscommunication during the written one you can easily jump to a call over WhatsApp having the benefit of a far greater personal touch – of course with getting your customers permission first.

Video chat

With being more or less isolated from friends, family and colleagues – not only when being in quarantine – the importance of video call solutions has significantly intensified.
Why should this technology not be used in retail as well? Advising your customer via video chat allows them to take a closer look or see alternatives and add-ons from their smartphones and tablets.
With the help of video chat solutions, you can continue your personal customer advisory despite social distancing and get a similar shopping experience like in-store and face-to-face.
Offer your customers the opportunity to experience your products, their colors, sizes, fits and more. Handing your store associate the right tools they become your very own brand ambassadors which provide customers the desired personal charm as one of the most important touchpoints. Video chats are a way to bring your store home to the customer, visualize new collections, answer questions in real time and afterwards process orders as well.
In a poll conducted by Anderson Consulting 63% of buyers expressed to buy more online if live customer support was available. Video chats turn conversations in an interactive, personalized and delightful user experience.

Boost your customer satisfaction and improve your credibility. To avoid being overwhelmed and resolve issues faster use one solution. Keep the overview of all queries and merge multiple digital touchpoints in one.

Markus Demirci

Founder & CEO mPocket

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