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How to Communicate with Customers During a Global Pandemic

Just a few weeks ago I was thinking of topics to write about in order to advise businesses on how to put social media to a better use in order to generate clients and sales. Fast forward to the third week of social distancing and working from home, I have remembered what value social media can actually hold in the time of crisis. It is more than just selling and buying.

Many businesses that have had to shut during this time, and perhaps chose the route of getting their voice and their shops online, have come to a realisation that social media is not just an option, but a necessity in today’s world. It is a key element in fast and efficient communication in any field, ranging anywhere from your family and friends to healthcare and government services. Alongside the ability to ease feelings of isolation and providing us with another way of connectivity, social media also becomes a fantastic tool in communication with your customers.

Here’s a few tips on how to handle customer service during a global pandemic:

1. Do not halt your social media activity completely.
It is vital to not disappear and leave your customers wondering what is happening with your business. Make sure to post regular updates about your business and what actions it is taking, as well as make sure to continue replying to comments and messages. You may have to review everything you have planned out, and your activity may inevitably slow, but it should not stop.

2. Be open.
Perhaps you are unable to sell your products or services at the moment, but do remain open for a change in communication with your customers.

Many businesses had to work to integrate social messages such as #StayAtHome or #ProtectNHS into their social media plan, despite these messages not being directly related to their branding.

Make sure you make available whatever ways of communication you can and are willing to use with your customers, such as Facebook Messenger (you are able to add a ‘Message Me’ button to your posts), Phone number, E-mail, Skype or Zoom, etc. And to fit all of that perhaps consider using an interactive link profile for your Instagram bio, such us linktr.ee. I promise your brand will benefit from having a deeper purpose, so now is the perfect time to provide that support to your audience.

3. Remain honest, sensible and compassionate.
You may have a brand image to uphold, but having your communications be honest, compassionate and sensible will never damage your business. This will build trust with your clients during the difficult times. So, be open with what issues you may have run into, be sensible when replying to your customers and making posts and be compassionate to your customers’ anxiety, worries and even complaints. Everyone is going through a tough time.

4. Do not post misinformation or information from unchecked/unreliable sources.
Do not mislead your customers if you choose to inform or educate. Much of what goes through social media is often an opinion, speculation or often simply not true. So make sure to quote only credible, fact-checked sources, otherwise you might damage the customer trust and your reputation. This also means always staying informed, and a website we can suggest is: fullfact.org/health/coronavirus to not only check your facts but to keep up to date.

5. Avoid being “salesy”.
Yes, you are a business and you need to make money, but taking a crisis and using it for profit will never be a good look on your brand, so don’t appear profit-driven or like you are using this as a trend. Now is not the time to push sales, as hard as it may be financially.

6. Spread positivity.
A big issue your audience might be running into at the moment is anxiety, stress and general feelings of negativity. One of the ways you can improve your communication is to make them feel better. Perhaps you may choose to post inspiring content and replying to your customers with positivity, or giving something away for the sake of community, or even sharing useful resources. Whatever form that may come, you may not be able to “fix it all” but creating that emotional connection with your customers will help them remember you.

If you would like more advice on your social media strategy during this difficult time, we are happy to review yours socials free-of-charge during this difficult time. Please contact Jan on 07968542472 or email jan@interphasesocial.co.uk.

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