From trying to get your dog to stop barking while on video calls, balancing work while the entire family is at home, and continuously reminding others to “mute” their phone during conference calls, everyone is adjusting to the new work from home routine.
For companies, this means helping your clients get acclimated to the new way of business in order to continue to feel supported. A majority of relationships are built from face-to-face communication, but since in-person meetings are no longer an option, your communication strategies need to fully pivot and assimilate to the new means of digital communication.
Here are 3 tips for cultivating client relationships built from digital strategies.
1. Be a Friend
Everyone is reacting to COVID-19 and its repercussions differently, yet you can position your business to be the constant, something that they can depend on. Treat your customers with respect and loyalty to make them feel that no matter what is changing around them, their relationship and business with your company will remain uninterrupted.
The first major way to combat uncertainty is to be flexible and understanding. As the new normal way of living prohibits typical economic activity, such as restaurants and in-person retail, the economic effects are being felt by individuals and businesses from all industries. Yet there are ways to mitigate these hindrances, most importantly you need to keep your customers updated on how you are adjusting to the changes.
We suggest being flexible with your shipping costs, payment options, or other applicable barriers that may inhibit buyers. Though it could lead to a decrease in profit margins, offering free shipping can increase the total number of sales made. Other ideas include extending gift card expirations or offering deals for future purchases or services. It is important that you focus on how to help your clients so they remain loyal in the future. While it could be considered “unconventional” in the business world, your company needs to be a friend to your clients during this time in order to create a trustful and positive reputation for future business relationships.
2. Invest in Digital Marketing and Be Active
To interact with your customers and maintain consistent communication it requires increasing your digital presence. Your brand needs to be where your audience is, and right now it’s all online.
For example, people are spending significantly more time scrolling through their social media feeds. Your business must respond to this increase. Developing and implementing a strategic social media plan, both organic and paid, ensures your company remains active.
There are countless different approaches to developing your social media messages, but during this time is important to cultivate human connections, as mentioned above. Let your clients know your business is contributing to the greater good and make it clear that your priorities align with your clients. People are more likely to spend their dollars with a company that they morally support.
Start by sharing updates on how your company is responding to the current climate, how your company is adjusting to the changes, or what your team is doing to stay positive during this time. By increasing your online presence, you are becoming a part of your clients’ daily lives and showing them that you are all in this together.
3. Improve Your Website
A critical component of embracing digital communication is aligning your technology to the strategies you are implementing.
- Do you need a more interactive site now that people are all online?
- Do you need a more comprehensive backend to help with orders or customer service?
- Are there any hosting issues that need to be resolved?
Developing digital strategies to compensate for your traditional operations is only the first step; ensuring your website and digital platforms support those functionalities is crucial to guarantee the strategies will operate and implement accordingly.