Why Engaging with Customers Is Important in Times of Crisis?Editorial Staff
November 10, 2022
The COVID-19 pandemic slammed the brakes on every business, big or small. People were barred from moving out of their homes, and face-to-face meetings were out of the question.
In such times of crisis, engaging with clients is even more important. But why engage when no one is buying?
According to studies, the destructive force of COVID-19 plummeted the year-on-year sales numbers across businesses to a negative 15% in 2020.
Potential customers were on the brink of losing jobs, and their buying power was at its lowest in the last decade. Those who had the money wanted to save for essential items only.
While businesses such as tourism, aviation, and hospitality came to a grinding halt, eCommerce, IT, and healthcare thrived. Let us look at why you should engage with customers during a crisis.
6 Reasons to Continue Customer Engagement During Crisis:
Businesses that care for their customers look beyond sales and extend a hand of care during times of crisis.
When you are staring at downward sales graphs and struggling to raise funds for operations, it is important to stay connected with your customers.
#1. No Face-to-Face Meetings
You need a solid foundation and technology in place for the times when face-to-face meetings are not possible.
The pandemic has made technology move ahead by leaps and bounds, and we are now better prepared to remain connected with our clients. Your customers will usually be at one of these four stages –
- Category #1 – Halted all types of spending – It comprises customers in a financial crisis or who fear losing their business and jobs. They halt all kinds of spending to save for bare essentials.
- Category #2 – Pained but economizing – The majority of customers fall into this category where they reduce their spending and economize.
- Category #3 – Financially comfortable – These customers continue to spend at pre-crisis levels with a little bit of caution.
- Category #4 – Living for today – This category of customers carries on with their day-to-day requirements but puts off their big-ticket purchases for another day.
By remaining in touch with customers, you can segment them. You can also continue some sales to those who are in the second and third categories.
#2. Establish Trust During Difficult Times
You can stay connected and build trust with customers in the first category. While they may not purchase your products or services, they will feel cared for by your brand.
Find out if there are any specific ways you can help them during these difficult times. Share about any community programs that you may be running and assure that you are in it together.
Statistics show that the majority of customers (68% of men and 64% of women) remain loyal to a brand they emotionally connect with.
#3. Your Product or Services Don’t Matter Right Now
Your customers may be experiencing boredom, anger, anxiety, or mental fatigue. The last thing you want to do is make your product or service a priority in any communication.
When people are in survival mode, the last thing they would want to do is book a holiday with their travel agent or buy new furniture. They may immediately cancel all purchase plans and ratios that they already have.
If your customers have already booked and paid for your services or products, assure them they have the right to amend, cancel, or postpone. Proactively reach out and tell them that their money is safe and they are free to come back later.
This way, you will reduce the customers’ anxiety regarding their order, and they will reach out to you when they are willing to make the purchase again.
#4. Be Available for Any Questions
Your customers may have questions about their purchases, deliveries, refunds, or payments. Be available on social media, emails, chat, and phone to provide customer support.
Technology has made it possible for your customer care executives to not be in the office and yet take the calls over cloud CRM systems.
Invite feedback about how you can be of assistance and provide only the information that is important during a crisis. Refrain from pushing any information that the customer does not want right now.
#5. Loyalty Matters More Than Before
It is said the best relationships form during times of crisis. In this case, consider the crisis as an opportunity to build loyalty. Genuinely care about the customers’ and their family’s well-being.
Use the customer’s information in your CRM system to personalize the communication and let it become a company culture even after the crisis.
Customers remember brands that genuinely care and often remain loyal for life. They also become your brand ambassadors and refer to their friends and family without any vested interest.
#6. Let Them Know That You Are in the Same Boat
A company comprises employees who also undergo the same crisis as the customers. Don’t shy away from sharing about your business and what you are doing to support each other financially and emotionally.
When the crisis is over, customers will remember that you were there for them and will come back to give them the much-needed business.
Leverage CRM Technology with “Prospur”:
The big question is – How to engage the customers during a crisis when you may be running short of staff? The answer to this is a cloud-based CRM system.
If you have a CRM system and are using it to engage customers, you already have a rich pool of data that you can leverage during a crisis.
CRMs allow both big and small businesses to segment customers according to the set parameters. You can communicate with them on relevant topics and be present over all social media channels irrespective of the crisis.
A cloud-based CRM lets you access information from anywhere over any device as long as you have the internet.
With advanced reporting and paperless transactions, your business can run even in times of crisis when your physical shop is closed.
For example, numerous grocery stores, pharmacies, and food delivery companies continued operations during the pandemic despite the orders to close shops.
We have moved past the recent crisis, but it is time to prepare your business for any future disruption. It may not be as big as the pandemic, but CRM technology will keep you on top of all customer data that you can leverage anytime and anywhere.