The COVID-19 pandemic has upturned the world and reorganized the way we do business. Business owners are struggling to keep up with the uncertain economy. It is clear that this pandemic will continue to leave a lasting impact on the digital marketing world. While much of the world is still in quarantine, it’s more critical than ever for businesses to keep in touch with customers. Below are 8 smart customer retention strategies to drive customer loyalty and boost customer retention rates during COVID-19.
1. Offer virtual products or services
Convert your products or services into virtual offerings. Technologies like telemedicine and video conferencing software have made it possible for businesses to continue connecting with their existing customers virtually. For example, some cosmetics businesses have started offering virtual services over video chat, walking their clients through DIY makeup ideas.
Analyze your business to see how you can use technology to continue supporting your loyal customers remotely.
2. Engage through social media
Worldwide, there were 3.8 billion social media users in January 2020. This figure increased more than 9% and gained 321 million new users in the past year alone. Platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook have changed the way brands communicate with their customers. These social media platforms are where your customers are most comfortable. They leave reviews, discuss buying decisions, and express their opinions on your business.
Construct a social media strategy to reach your customer base on every social platform. You can use this approach to learn more about your customers’ actions, understand their preferences, and respond to their reviews. Keep in mind that engaging with your customers through social media is not about advertising. The last thing they want is for you to shove your ads down their throats. Your goal is to create valuable contributions and nurture a lasting customer relationship.
3. Concentrate on short-term actions that reflect the new reality
Customers are showing little interest in making long-term commitments in these pandemic times. Focusing on short-term actions, promotions, and offers is crucial for this exact reason.
If you typically offer long-term contracts only, think about what temporary promotional marketing you can offer customers that will still meet their needs. It might take some ingenuity, but it will benefit your company in the end, because your customers will see that you can adapt to their needs.
4. Add an element of surprise
Adding an unexpected element helps keep things interesting and keeps your customers engaged. Think about how your brand and company fit into people’s lives right now.
- What’s the best way for us to engage right now?
- What are some creative ways I can communicate with and please my audience?
- How can I interact with them where they are?
5. Refurbish your website
COVID-19 is on everyone’s minds at this moment. When customers visit your web store, they will be seeking information about what you are doing in response to the crisis, whether you are still open, how you’re selling, how your services have been affected, and so on. Help your customers out by providing clear, concise, up-to-date information letting them know how they can shop with you and what to expect. FAQs make for an ideal format for people looking for specific information, quickly, and are also convenient and straightforward to keep customers up to date.
In addition, consider opening this up to more general tips and advice – tips for shopping online for people who are more used to going into a store, advice on staying safe if they have to head out, the latest on self-isolating, and social distancing. Make sure the information you provide is kept current based on the latest recommendations from the CDC and local governments.
6. Nurture with gift cards
Gift cards and vouchers provide you with an immediate infusion of cash and guarantee more repeat customers. For businesses where margins are slim, gift cards can help you stay afloat until the crisis passes.
For instance, customers in Seattle are going out of their way to make sure local cafes, bars, and eateries don’t go under, and gift cards provide an easy way to keep the cash flow moving. Offer an e-gift card program to reduce the risk of human contact, or work with a third-party delivery partner like Uber Eats to accept their gift cards at your location.
7. Use discounts to your advantage
This is a good time to entice long-term purchases with discounts. If it aligns with your business model, encourage new customers to lock in a one-year membership now at a cheaper rate. If you are a retailer, consider offering free or discounted shipping for online orders. Help other small businesses in your area by offering a 10% discount if a customer brings in a recent receipt from another small merchant. Not only will this improve customer experience, it will also boost customer acquisition.
8. Communicate your company’s value
It is important to communicate your value to your existing customers. Instead of filling their inboxes with generic emails about how “we’re all in this together,” limit your communication to valuable insights that can help them during this time of need. Providing valuable resources is a great way to remind your customers that you are there to help them – that’s the bottom line.
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