How B2B Companies Can Delight Their Customers During COVID-19
By Austin LaRoche, ATAK Interactive CEO
It’s been several weeks since the United States reported its first positive case of COVID-19 (also known as Novel Coronavirus). To mitigate the risk of spreading the virus, millions of people are practicing social distancing by staying inside and avoiding crowds.
Though this practice is keeping our communities safe, it has negatively impacted a lot of companies as they are not receiving the same constant business.
However, there is a silver lining to social distancing for businesses. People are building stronger relationships with their families, friends, neighbors, and communities. This has created the perfect opportunity for companies to strengthen their relationships with their current customers.
With the virus putting most company’s acquisition activity on pause, your existing customers will have the confidence to complete purchases and act as your advocates during this time.
We have compiled some creative strategies to help you build a stronger connection with your target audience so that it will not only outlast the virus outbreak but also for years to come.
1. Assure Them Your Company Can Deliver in New, Innovative Ways
Many things are changing so you want to ensure your customers know they will still be receiving the same support from your company despite the virus’s effects on your operations. In communicating with your audience, elaborate on the value propositions they care about that you will continue to provide. Ease their hesitations.
Now comes the hard part. If you tell your customers they can be reassured that they are receiving the best qualities of your business during social distancing, you need to know how to deliver on that promise. Make no mistake, things will change. But for applicable companies, you can provide the same service to them in new, exciting ways.
Take advantage. Figure out how to replace what was with what is now and project your new direction with confidence. Make sure to keep your message clear, crisp, and confident.
2. Host a Virtual Event
Don’t let your canceled or postponed event stop you from showcasing your products and services to your customers. There are plenty of platforms and channels for you to host a virtual webinar, presentation, or panel.
Most people are looking for entertainment while they are social distancing in their homes. Let your virtual event be something for them to look forward to by providing tips and product demos, unveiling new products and services, giving a behind-the-scenes look into your business, or discussing new insights within your industry.
On social media, you can also host Facebook Live or Instagram Live events, which leads us to our next idea…
3. Increase Your Social Media Activity
It’s no secret that screen time has gone up for many people since the beginning of the quarantine. Social media is one of the biggest factors for this high activity as people are frequently checking for the latest updates on the virus.
Whether you’re posting about the virus or product offers, this is the best time to start ramping up your social media strategy. With higher posting frequency on social media, you can ensure you show up in your customers’ news feeds.
Also, be sure to offer options for your customers to contact you via Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and other instant messaging platforms. This will allow you to answer questions and provide other information your customers may need.
4. Video Chat with Your Customers
Give your customers some literal Face Time. If your sales team is in regular contact with your customers, have them switch to video conferencing to give a more human interaction during this time of isolation.
Video chat also allows your customers to build trust and assurance through a 1-on-1 experience with your team. Your team can answer questions in real-time, demonstrate some complementary products they own or give them an inside look into new products.
5. Support Your Customers Beyond Selling
Take a look at how your customers have been managing their efforts during the pandemic. Have they donated to an organization or started a relief of their own? If so, this would be a great opportunity to either donate to that same organization or relief to show that you and your customers share the same values.
COVID-19 has affected pretty much every industry across the board so your company can look for ways to support your industry. As part of the health & wellness community, one of our clients, Paragon Laboratories, recently donated a large supply of N95 respirators to local hospitals in the Southern California area to keep their community healthy.
Another way you could support your customers would be to provide complementary services you don’t normally offer, such as product demos or virtual training. Your company can also host free weekly webinars to showcase thought leadership and open up a conversation between you and your customers.
Companies taking any of the measures listed above will let their customers know they are trying to make their lives better despite the growing pandemic. Your customers will see that your company cares about its community, which will lead them to want to continue doing business with you. By focusing on building these relationships, your company will be in a much better position to get back on track as soon as the virus passes.