None of us want to look like we are capitalising on a bad situation or hijacking a trending topic, especially one of the kind of magnitude we are experiencing now. Indeed, those businesses who look like they are being insensitive, putting up prices or in some way attempting to profiteer from a global crisis are often widely condemned and put on ‘trial’ by social media. Whether people will remember those firms who have been found to be out of alignment with what is considered appropriate remains to be seen once things return to normal.
Business as usual?
It may feel wrong to carry on as normal putting out social media posts and blogging when there is so much going on in the world – so how can you continue to communicate with your customers in a meaningful and helpful way?
The main thing you can and should be doing with all of your online output at times like these is doing your best to be helpful, taking into account the specific concerns or needs of your customer base. If you are getting asked the same question about your products or services by a number of your customers or potential customers – write a blog to address those questions in detail. You can publish that on your website, share it on social media and send out an email to your mailing list.
You can be helpful by easing the concerns of your customers and confirming that your service remains the same, or, by making sure you are keeping them fully up-to-date if you are unable to fulfil a promised order or service.
If you operate from a physical location where you would normally welcome your customers, now is likely to be a particularly tricky time, especially if current movement restrictions mean that you are no longer able to do that. If you are able to continue seeing customers at your premises, let people know if you have restricted opening hours from normal, if you have fewer products or services on offer and what steps you are taking to keep them safe when they visit. If you have been forced to close your doors to visitors for the time being, let your customers know whether you intend to offer a replacement delivery or collection service or if you will be selling any products online.
Using social media or email to keep in touch and offer an insight into what is going on behind the scenes of your business could be something which your followers and subscribers find interesting at the moment. If you are working on a new way of serving your customers, keep them informed as to how that is progressing.
Keep it helpful, keep it relevant
Whilst this is an unprecedented trading environment for us all, the basic principles of online marketing still remain the same. The key thing to remember with all of your communications and output at this time is to make it helpful and make it relevant. Try to focus on the kind of information you think your customers will want to hear and that which will help them to overcome any problems they may be having.