4 January 2021
As Addison businesses are allowed to open back up under Addison Mayor Joe Chow, and our community starts to feel the effects of a stronger and more stable economy, how you are reaching out to customers during COVID will be put to the test in a big way.
Having an effective strategy to maintain contact with your customer base is crucial as we start moving into different phases of reopening local Addison businesses. Even if your business remained open throughout this time, having a direct way to speak with the community is essential.
Your customers and potential customers here in Addison will be wondering…
- What are your business hours? Have they been modified?
- Are there are any changes to your service?
- What do your offerings look like in the current economic and social landscape?
Here are some effective modes of communication that allow you to grow and strengthen your relationship with the Addison community.
1. Reaching Out To Customers During COVID And Adding Value Through A Newsletter
Newsletters are probably the easiest and most effective way for reaching out to customers during COVID. A company newsletter also has the added benefit of keeping your business’ name in front of local Addison consumers.
There is still a case to be made for the efficacy of a printed and mailed newsletter. However, this can be costly to self-produce. Do you have a relationship with a print or marketing company with the ability to mass-distribute and market through this medium? If so, a print newsletter about your local business to the Addison community is extremely valuable.
If you don’t have the resources to rely on a printed newsletter, there are still other options you can consider. With the constant development of the digital marketing landscape, there are now more ways than ever to implement a company newsletter. The most worthwhile option is to set up a system on your business’ website for customers and prospective customers to directly sign up for an email newsletter. Additionally, setting up effective social media newsletter campaigns that market directly to your audience is also a good idea.
A newsletter has to be relevant not only to your business, but to the customer as well. You don’t want to spam a loyal client’s inbox with irrelevant information. However, you also don’t want to be so scared of driving a customer away that your correspondence is limited to once a month. Making this mistake allows customers to forget you. It can also confuse them about how you got their information at all.
A successful newsletter that demonstrates the value of your business and your offerings to your audience would include relevant and useful information like:
- Upcoming sales and deals
- News about your industry, communicating information that relates to your customers and your business
- Upcoming events or promotions
- Any recent blog posts or business-related content you have written
This list is just a general outline for how to best write a newsletter. Providing a newsletter using these parameters will strengthen relationships with your clientele. It will also continuously place your business at the forefront of your customer’s mind.
2. The Importance Of Phone Calls
The whole idea of phone calls in this day and age may seem a little outdated. However, according to a recent study, phone calls are still the primary channel for customer communications. Even today’s “digital age,” across all business niches, it’s still the case that a whopping 68% of a business’ customers and prospective customers contact customer service by phone.
Pros & Cons Of Phone Calls
When you make yourself readily available to both existing and potential clients, you can build a relationship that encourages trust in the quality and expertise of your service. First impressions are everything. When clientele have the ability to interact with the humans behind the company in a positive way, they are much more likely to return.
On the flip side, a negative customer service experience over the phone can completely ruin trust in your business. It also goes a long way toward ruining the reputation reputation of your business! This is especially true in a small community like Addison! A recent study found that 74% of consumers were more likely to choose a competitor after an unpleasant phone experience. Whether it is long hold times, not being able to reach a human, or being spoken to with excessive negative language, or a combination of the three, you diminish your value and alienate a client.
So What Can You Do?
Providing an outstanding customer service experience is just as important to small businesses as it is to large businesses. Maybe you don’t have the resources or manpower to have a representative for your company available at any given moment. However, there are several ways to streamline and enhance your phone service.
The easiest way would be to put an automated phone attendant into place. Automated attendants don’t just act as an operator for your business. They also streamline the connection between the customer and the department or employee they need to get into contact with. Having an automated attendant also assures your customers they will receive your attention even in off hours. So, with an automated attendant, you can ensure that you never miss a potential sale or opportunity to expand your clientele. Some of the best automated phone attendants for small businesses are Nextiva, Grasshopper, and Vonage.
3. Don’t Fear Feedback
It is easy to become scared of feedback. Whether or not your business is providing excellent service, a negative review is inevitable. However, there are ways to respond (and even make yourself open to the feedback) that demonstrate amazing customer service and quality of business versus alienating a customer. In this way, being open to feedback is a great way of reaching out to customers during COVID.
One great way to make yourself available for feedback is by including a form on your website that directly asks for it. Whether that be a popup or located on a specific page of your website, simply ask the audience how they feel about the quality of product or service they received and how you can to improve the next time they require your products or services.
Another extremely effective way to generate feedback is by being responsive, dedicated, and available to your clientele. Here are some great ways to accomplish this:
- Actively check the messaging on your social media pages for your business.
- Make sure to respond calmly, contextually, and warmly to questions or concerns
- Adding a live chat function on your website is a great idea to help responsiveness. This helps your business immediately assist customers coming directly to you with whatever they need.
Conclusion: Keeping Your Business Alive By Reaching Out To Customers During COVID
Customer service and feedback are extremely important. This is especially true when it comes to communicating with your client base, especially during this COVID pandemic. By utilizing these tips, you can build a lasting relationship with your customers and potential customers here in the Addison community.
It’s critically important that you have a good plan in place for reaching out to customers during COVID. Sure, you need to do so to inform them of your reopening or any change to hours and service. However, an exceptional communication strategy also shows that you are absolutely committed to providing your quality product or service safely and effectively, and that your local Addison business is the best option for them.