Connecting with Your Customers04/30/2020
We are currently dealing with some very unique circumstances. The Coronavirus, and the political response, pose challenges we have never dealt with before. As political rivals posture and healthcare experts disagree, the rest of us suffer the consequences. Individuals and businesses struggle with extraordinary circumstances and uncertainty. In the midst of all that is going on, several businesses are finding ways to connect with their customers.
We are all tired of the piano music laden commercials that remind us we are all in this together. These commercials all have something in common besides their choice of music. The companies running these commercials know that the goal is to connect with their customers and cultivate new ones. By showing concern and offering people hope, these companies are strategically laying the groundwork to engage consumers now, and once things return to normal. This may sound cynical, but developing and keeping customers is the primary purpose of most businesses.
You may notice that each of these commercials uses a phrase similar to, "we are all in this together". While we all face problems created by this virus, large and small businesses face very different challenges. As individuals, we are all concerned about family, friends, the economy, and more. The companies running these commercials realize that it is easy to create an association during a crisis that affects us all. I want to be clear that I am in no way condemning these businesses, I am simply pointing out the obvious. One could say, these commercials are brilliant in the way they establish a connection between the company and the viewer.
Many businesses are discounting products and services for their customers. There are a few auto insurance companies that have cut their customer's monthly rates by 25 percent. With people driving less due to stay at home orders and requests, the insurance company's risk has diminished, so lower premiums make sense. Do you think that makes some people think about changing auto insurance providers?
Many businesses have donated to causes that are helping people most affected by the virus. Several others have raised funds to help healthcare workers. Companies are offering low-interest financing and deferred payments, and others are offering to help people who have lost their jobs or are struggling due to the virus. Businesses are being creative in the ways they are reaching out to consumers. Since this is new to all of us, it may take a while to determine what works and what doesn't.
It may not be feasible for a small business to leverage television ads into a nationwide fundraiser. However, a small business can still connect with current and potential customers, regardless of the situation. Offering home delivery, or curbside pickup is a couple of ways companies are protecting their customers and staying in business. Many of the things being done by major corporations can be accomplished by smaller businesses at a reduced scale. Be creative, each business has it's own unique circumstances and can connect with the public in different ways.
Your website, along with social media, is an ideal place to spread the word about your business and the steps you are taking to stay open and serve your customers. If you have been restricted or shut down, use these same tools to communicate with consumers, so when the restrictions are lifted, you are ready.
In business, like everything else in life, the situation is more about how we react than about what happens to us. Despite this virus and the roadblocks it creates, the American entrepreneurial spirit will win out in the end. Businesses need customers, and customers need businesses. No matter how big or small your business is you can make a connection with your customer.