How to Offer Customers More Value During This Pandemic
The pandemic has affected everyone. Regardless of the type of business you run, the industry you serve, or where in the world you live or area you have had to scramble. And this means getting very creative. You absolutely have to find ways to stay afloat with all the changes pushed on us. We’re now working from home, halting all in-person meetings for selling and delivering our services.
I don’t care who you are. This is a lot to deal with in a time that already extremely stressful.
The solution for most business owners is to find ways to offer more value to customers to keep them working with you and ensure they’ll stick with you during, and more importantly after this craziness ends.
That sounds great, but what’s the best way to do it? The answer in many cases is easy, but it can also be complicated.
The Pandemic by the Numbers
Let’s go over the statistics to get a picture of what your customers most need during this difficult time.
- Americans are filling for unemployment benefits in droves. That means many are living with financial uncertainty and stress. The number is 6 million people. That’s how may filed in the week ending March 28th.
- Between 1.4 and 2.1 million small businesses are at risk of shutting down permanently.
- More than 75% of consumers have experimented with new buying behavior, shifting to online and digital buying abandoning brands that used to be king for them.
- The only category of spending for experience business growth is to produce things people consider to be essential. Impulse buying is down a lot.
The pandemic has made a significant impact on both consumer confidence and consumer spending. If you want customers to continue buying from you, you have to give them a reason to do it.
Focus on What Your Customers Are Feeling
The first thing you’ll need to do is to make sure that your customers know you understand what they’re feeling. Some of the most common emotions right now are:
In normal times, we marketers work to create a sense of uncertainty or fear. We work to build FOMO or fear of missing out.
That’s something you DO NOT want to do now. People are already feeling those things so you don’t need to do anything to incite those emotions. Instead, you need to empathize with them. Consumers are far more likely to buy from a company that understands them than with a company that only seems to be out to make money.
Communicate Your Empathy Effectively
Understanding your customers is one thing, but it won’t matter if you can’t effectively communicate your empathy. That means focusing on clear, compassionate communication that reassures your target audience.
What does that look like?
- Putting a COVID-19 statement on your website and making it apparent what you’re doing to keep your customers safe. Examples may include social distancing markers and procedures, escalated cleaning, and shipping precautions.
- Sending an email series addressing your customers’ concerns and detailing how you can help.
- Engaging more frequently on social media and encouraging your audience to share their thoughts and feelings with you.
The focus should be on letting your customers know that you want to help. If they know that, they’ll be more likely to buy from you over others that aren’t doing that.
I’ll be following this up with a follow-up article that focuses on how to revamp your marketing budget because this is NOT the time to be cutting back there.