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Keeping your customers when you can’t serve them during lock-down

Brands that communicate effectively, and empathetically, with customers will not only maintain existing customer relationships, but could also elevate their brand and attract future customers.

The current COVID-19 global pandemic not only has a massive impact on businesses, but also on your customers.

  • How can you continue to maintain these relationships?
  • What steps can you take to mitigate letting down your customers?

Communication now is critical

As the environment you are operating in continues to change daily, communicating with your customers is essential. Your customer needs and emotions are heightened, and how you respond today will impact customer perception of your business and brand. Meeting those needs and understanding how your customer may be feeling right now, will go a long way towards building a strong customer relationship.

  1. Consider concerns that your customers may have right now Identify whether your business would be able to assist with information to help ease or remedy these areas of concern
  2. Proactively provide customers with information and support via your digital platforms, such as your website or social media channels
  3. Demonstrate your care and understanding for the disruptions they may be facing right now.

From proactive inventory planning to discounts and special offers, explore ways that you can incentivise your current customer. Then as a longer-term strategy, start targeting untapped market segments to find new opportunities for your business.

Here are ways that businesses in various sectors have responded to customer’s needs and provided them with information and solutions:

1. B2B: Providing content to support without selling solutions

  • To objectively assist its B2B customers, without subjectively benefiting via its products, provider of talent management software and services, HealthcareSource, produced content around hiring in the time of crisis, which offers action healthcare organisations could take to adjust their hiring practices during the crisis.

2. Online: Focusing on community over commercial gain

  • Nigeria-based Jumia, has partnered with various authorities across Africa and offered its extensive online platform to share important health messages, as well as promised its customers to use the platform for distributing health pamphlets and key products to remote and rural areas particularly for elderly and sick people at home.
  • While locally, when the online dinner kit delivery service uCook, found itself among the few retailers who could continue to deliver essential food to its customers, the company CEO pledged to prioritise community over commercial gain through their new socially-focused business direction.

3. B2C: Decreasing focus on brand awareness

  • Hard hit by decline in retail shopping as non-essential shops shut doors, luxury brands like Estée Lauder, LVMH, or Kering, have been quick to provide messages of support to their customers, instead of focusing on sales campaigns and brand awareness during this time.

Key Insights

  1. Consider concerns that your customers may have right now
  2. Identify whether your business would be able to assist with information to help ease or remedy these areas of concern
  3. Proactively provide customers with information and support via your digital platforms, such as your website or social media channels
  4. Demonstrate your care and understanding for the disruptions they may be facing right now.

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References:

  • KPMG: https://home.kpmg/xx/en/blogs/home/posts/2020/03/retailing-in-a-covid-19-world.html
  • Fintech Futures: https://www.fintechfutures.com/2020/03/jumia-steps-in-to-assist-africa-amid-rising-coronavirus-numbers/
  • Smart Insights: https://www.smartinsights.com/tag/business-and-marketing-response-to-coronavirus-covid-19/
  • Gartner: https://blogs.gartner.com/rick-lafond/2020/03/24/rethinking-b2b-content-marketing-response-covid-19/