Delivering a great customer experience during COVID-19

Mentoring business leaders as they navigate the path of engaging customers through COVID-19 uncertainty.

Delivering a great customer experience during COVID-19

We’ve all been patiently working from home wondering when and how to engage our customers. For some, it’s been business as usual, yet for others, it’s been challenging, and some are left wondering what to do.

Over the past three weeks, I have been mentoring business leaders as they navigate the path of when to contact customers, how to distribute content, and what to say. Commonly asked questions have been “Should we continue promoting our products and services to keep our brand top of mind?”, “Do we let customers know we’re here and able to take on any job no matter how small?”, “Do we send out EDM’s and post news about our products and services on our social networks?”, “What do we do?”

My advice has been, deliver a customer experience they need but first understand where they’re at as one approach does not fit all. People have been challenged navigating their way through change not dissimilar to navigating sorrow. When you lose someone or something, you feel lost for a while, unsure of what’s next. Your search for answers and look for ways to work through the uncertainty. Those that care and understand respectfully give you time and space. They let you know they’re there and consider your needs as time goes by. Our customers are no different.

Your customers are going through their own unique challenges at home and at work. Showing empathy and listening is the highest service you can offer right now. Step into their shoes and ask yourself if you were them “When will I need my product/service?” “At what stage should I look to re-engage?” “What do I need right now to get through the next few weeks and months?” “What topics are important to me right now and what do I want to read about?” and “When should I re-engage with my suppliers? April, May, June ….?”

Now in May, life is different again and your customers’ challenges have shifted again. Some are now clearer or more certain of their financial situation, others remain in planning mode, some still in hibernation and others watching for more positive signs.

The one thing you can be sure of is the experience you offer your customers today may position your brand’s growth tomorrow. What will you offer: one that strengthens their experience with your brand as you consider their journey and tweak monthly or one that puts your brand needs first? What is more important to your brand?

If you already segment your audience on needs, then this is the time to be savvy. Review your approach and create segments based on your customers’ needs over the next two, four and six months. One size does not fit all, so revise them as you go. This way, you can give each segment the customer experience they need and delivering a brand experience founded on goodwill. Before I end to consider this – what customer experience do you want from the brands you buy from?

Now is the opportunity to talk to your customers, gauge where they’re at and understand their new challenges. It may not be time to reengage the use of service, but service can be delivered in different ways. Consider what you would like you would like from your suppliers to make you feel assured that they are the right providers you want to continue doing business with.

Look at your activities, your touchpoints, and the user experiences you’re offering in your promotions, campaigns and advertising. This pandemic opens opportunities to strengthen your brand’s relationship with your existing and potential new clients and humanise your messages

Author tip: Humanise your communications and be true to your message.

Remember relationships are built on emotion and the visuals and messages we communicate is what creates the depth of connection we have with our customers over time. The messages for us all is to show our customers that we understand their changing situation by the messages we convey.