Relevant communication with customers
Consumers are inundated with emails and messages on social media full of information about the Coronavirus: often packaged as service information with a commercial message. This can be risky, especially at a time when customers can be extra sensitive. Still, as a brand you want to keep communicating and keep selling. What do you need to be careful of in this particular situation?
Tips & tricks
We all see it happening; social media and email inboxes are overflowing with messages related to the Coronavirus. A logical consequence of all the chaos and measures we are now dealing with. Companies want to stay in touch with their customers and let them know what they are doing to prevent the spread of the virus, but also what services they still offer. Especially in e-commerce there are more opportunities now that people are not going to physical stores. But more on that later…
In this series of knowledge articles, we will share our vision of (online) customer contact and digital engagement and how you can use this to your advantage, especially in these times. In this article we will answer the question: “Why should you be careful with the widespread distribution of commercial information wrapped in a service information jacket?”
All the messages we’re reading on social media now, on news sites and in our personal mailbox are mostly about the Coronavirus. Logically, the news is also dominated by this topic. We are inundated with it and want to keep up to date with what is going on. However, an overkill of information can cause apathy, choice overload and indecisiveness. Scientist David Shenk had already concluded in 1997 that “the overload of information has become a real threat”. He called the phenomenon “info-besity” or “data smog”.
It is up to the customer, through this continuous stream of information, to decide which information is relevant to them and which information can remain unread. As the aforementioned studies have proven, it is becoming increasingly difficult for many people to make the right decision. Of course, you want to prevent your message from falling into the latter category.
COMMUNICATING WITH YOUR CUSTOMER MORE IMPORTANT THAN EVER
Obviously, we’re not saying that you should stop communicating with your customers. On the contrary, in a time when we are increasingly physically distancing ourselves from each other, communicating with your customer is more important than ever! We just have to return to the core of communication: getting the message across to your target audience, at the right time, through the right channels, according to your brand’s values and vision.
- Think carefully about what you want to share with your customer; what’s your point? You must also stick to that point and don’t try to squeeze multiple messages into 1 correspondence.
- Be relevant: are you aware of the situation the customer is in? Topics that will affect many consumers are working from home, eating and making coffee at home, exercising at home and staying healthy.
- How does your message connect with your brand? Is the tone of voice correct? Does it match the services or products you provide? And does the tone of voice also suit the sentiment in society?
- Choose the right channel. Be present wherever your target audience is!
- Do you want to interact with your customer? Then make sure you are appropriately prepared! A telephone number that is unreachable or a question via social media that remains unanswered causes an irritation that everyone is familiar with.
- If you have built a community, make sure you listen to what your community is telling you. Is the image around your brand changing due to the changing needs of your customers? Anticipate this, if the situation allows it. Also look at how you can activate your community: you can ask your own customers how they deal with the current situation.
Last but not least: what information needs does your (potential) customer have? We all know the principle of the content calendar, but you may wonder whether that content adds anything for your customer at this time? What do they want to know from you right now, how can you help them? If you can provide that, do so!
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