7 tips for re-engaging customers after COVID-19 quarantine
Though the timeline is unclear, the COVID-19 quarantine will eventually end. Businesses have been in reaction mode as the crisis has escalated — updating their messaging, content strategies and customer service tactics to best support their customers through a difficult time.
But it’s not too soon to start looking forward. Even though things will be different for a long time, people will start going out and consuming again — and businesses can be ready for them. Once people are allowed to leave their home, having a business strategy in place for re-engaging customers will ease the transition from supporting them in quarantine to serving them as they return to a new normal.
Above all, it’s vital to understand your customers’ needs during a unique period. To help you get ahead on your post-COVID-19 strategy, here are eight tips for effectively communicating information important to your business and encouraging customers to engage.
1. Plan an announcement on your website and social media for when you resume operations
Once you’re ready to resume more traditional operations, even if it involves contactless transactions, safeguards, and other necessary precautions, you’ll want to let your customers know. You should do this across a variety of channels, but it’s important that you add any post-quarantine announcements to your website’s homepage, where they can’t be missed. You can accomplish this in several ways. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- Banners — Adding a small, non-intrusive banner can be used to highlight important announcements without disrupting customer experience. Be sure to add the banner to your homepage, and consider making it global across your site so that customers can see it no matter what page they land on.
- Pop-ups — Like banners, pop-ups are an easy way to implement announcements globally across your website. Pop-ups allow for more room for text and will ensure the announcement doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Blog posts — Lengthier announcements may require their own unique pages, and your blog is a perfect medium for this. Use the space to lay out thorough information about when and how your business will begin to resume operations, and what customers should expect.
- Social media — Your website isn’t the only place to make announcements. Make sure to get the word out on social media so that your customers will know you’re back in business even if they don’t visit your website. (Of course, it’s important to keep up your social media presence even during quarantine. Check out this blog post for some tips on social media during COVID-19.)
2. Email your customer list
Another way you can re-engage your customer base after quarantine is by sending out an email campaign to update your entire list. Though your most loyal customers may regularly check your website or follow you on social media, most probably don’t. An email campaign is an easy way to send pertinent updates directly to your customers’ inboxes. This increases the chance that they will see your message and re-engage with your business.
3. Update your Google My Business listing with hours of operation
If your business has a physical location or service area, you probably have a Google My Business (GMB) listing. If your business’ hours have changed or you had to temporarily close your doors because of the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ll want to make sure to update your GMB listing so that customers aren’t disappointed when they show up and you’re not there.
Likewise, once things have settled, it’s important to go back into your listing and update your hours of operation to reflect the change. Once customers are free to resume day-to-day activities, they will turn to the web for information on which of their favorite businesses are open. If your business’ GMB listing displays that you are closed or have restricted hours, customers may opt to shop elsewhere.
4. Offer exclusive content or discounts
Unfortunately, the quarantine has negatively affected many peoples’ finances. Even when the quarantine is over, customers may feel hesitant to spend money on anything that isn’t a necessity. You can entice your customers to convert — and support them in a time of need — by offering limited-time discounts or subscriber content.
Start planning now to develop a creative discount strategy that will help convince customers to re-engage your business once quarantine ends.
5. Host a small event, with proper precautions
Of course, you don’t have to wait until quarantine is over to host a digital event. Many companies are hosting webinars, sales events, and more for people who can’t leave their homes. Remember, this extends to your employees as well as your customers; a virtual happy hour or social event can go a long way toward improving morale for people who aren’t used to working from home.
While in-person events aren’t a possibility right now, they will be again in the future, and after a prolonged period of isolation due to COVID-19, your customers will want public interaction. As long as state and local guidelines allow, you can use this as an opportunity to host a small event while taking appropriate sanitary measures, like having disinfecting stations around the venue and limiting the number of guests. With precautions and flexibility in mind, a fun, small event will get customers through your doors and interacting with your business.
Use your time now to ideate your event, and possibly plan logistics with the understanding that timelines are extremely uncertain. You can tease the event on your website, social media, or email once things look like they’re settling down, but don’t set a date until the all-clear is given by your local health authorities.
6. Support your community
The impact of COVID-19 on society is impossible to ignore. When we return to a new normal and your business begins to pick up, it’s crucial that we support those in our communities who were affected.
Many businesses are in a place to help directly, and are already doing so during quarantine. Some have started manufacturing masks and other protective equipment; others are offering food, hand sanitizer, and more to affected communities. But the need for help won’t end when quarantine does. Although people may not need masks anymore, they will still need food, medicine, and other essential supplies and services. Showing your support not just during quarantine but also during recovery shows your business’ commitment to the community. Even if you’re not in a position to help directly, you can still organize charity events, team up with businesses who are in such a position, or make donations to organizations providing relief.
7. Listen to customer feedback
The period of recovery following quarantine may test how well your business reacts to customer sentiment and feedback. Businesses will need to closely monitor feedback and pivot strategy based on changing demands. For example, businesses that are now offering customers delivery, livestreaming, and other social distancing-approved services may continue to see customer demand for these services once quarantine has ended, as customers may still be wary of social interactions or find the services more convenient. Your business’ success could depend on how well you meet these changing customer needs.
Additionally, businesses that listen and adjust strategy based on customer feedback after the COVID-19 quarantine ends will improve customer satisfaction as customers will feel heard.
How Khoros can help
Khoros is committed to helping brands increase their digital engagement and improve customer service. If your brand is struggling to reach customers during COVID-19, check out our strategic services, marketing, and customer care solutions.
For more resources on how to manage your brand during COVID-19, visit our dashboard here.