By: Venkat Nanduri
COVID-19 has impacted our definition of “normal” profoundly.
Even with authorities and service personnel working round the clock to salvage the situation, at this juncture, the road ahead may seem bleak to many of us.
The business world is shaken to the core, with stock markets plunging to new lows, offices shutting down, and more and more employees beginning to work from home. Worldwide restrictions on travel and the widespread promotion of social distancing are expected to drive consumers further away from businesses.
As countries across the globe move into harsher steps to contain the catastrophic impact of coronavirus, the business community needs to work around plans to ensure a sustainable future.
The number one asset you can rely on for this mission is to sustain conversation with your customers.
How can conversations help?
When customers are increasingly worried about the ongoing disruptions to their daily lives, businesses need to reassure them that it’s going to be okay. This could be in the form of ensuring transparency of service, product availability, on-time delivery, new offerings, better utilization of available offerings, and much more.
The more you talk to your customers and solve their problems, the greater the chances they will be loyal to your business post crisis.
What can you do?
You can start by optimizing your messaging and response strategies.
While messaging covers your outward approach of communication, response handles the incoming barrage of customer concerns.
Things to do in messaging
Your main job here is to optimize your communication channels. Remember, physical mobility is highly restricted, so the first choice of communication with your customers would be digital media.
Using intelligent digital marketing tools, drive your messaging consistently across prominent social channels, like Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and others.
Even in crisis, user experience should not take a backseat. Hence, make sure your messaging is personalized and insights-driven and makes for a great conversational experience.
Things to do in response
Customers may reach out to you through a variety of channels, like your official website, social media, and customer support via email and telephone. Deploying dedicated customer support personnel 24X7 may not be possible in the current context, where most businesses are functioning with limited resources and employee safety is a priority.
Deploying AI-enabled bots to respond swiftly to customer queries could seem like the best option. But in this grim situation, customers need personal attention. Although AI-enabled bots can handle a good volume of customer queries on their own, the most important thing is to stay personally connected.
Technology can help to a greater extent, but during unprecedented crisis, there is no bigger reassurance than the impact of the personal touch.
Is your business equipped to keep the dialogue going?
Now is the time to act.