How to support your existing customers through the pandemic

Forge / 28th May 2020

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Previously, we looked at potential digital strategies for businesses to adopt during the pandemic. But just as important as ensuring new leads don’t dry up is supporting your existing business. These customers or clients are your bedrock, and staying relevant to them during this time of crisis and beyond is of paramount importance.

You know that your customers are almost certainly under pressure to cut costs, so continuing to spend with you may be off the table for a while. Your job is to ensure you’re maintaining engagement with them, building that pipeline to deliver sales once the picture starts to improve. This way, you’ll be far closer to closing deals when the pandemic is over.

What can you do to help?

To this end, businesses have to reaffirm that they are there for the people who need them. There are two stages to doing this:

  1. Remind customers of your value. Set out why your offerings will be more important than ever. Again, this isn’t necessarily about persuading them to spend again with you right now. Show sympathy for the tough times they are experiencing and offer your support. But more importantly show them the value you’ve brought them in the past, and explain why your services will still be fundamentally important to them when the pandemic ends.
  2. Show your customers what you are doing to help them. Your customer base is looking for reassurance that you are working hard to support them. Clear communication that you are focussed on helping them and are taking action to ensure this can go a long way.

Delivering your message

Digital communication allows you to deliver your message in a way that directly addresses the needs and concerns of your customer base. These needs and concerns should guide the direction of your strategy. Consider some of these channels to deliver your message:

  • Create relevant content. Just as it helps draw in new leads, publishing relevant industry-focused content to your website also keeps your existing customers engaged. Use your persona research to guide the subject matter – it’s important to appeal to their biggest needs. Content recognising the business challenges posed by the pandemic shows you are working hard to support them during this time, but it’s important to balance this with evergreen sector-specific resources.
  • Email. Email marketing is one of the most important tools you have to support your existing customers. Distributing new content to all your contacts via email keeps your brand fresh in the mind of the businesses that have spent with you before. Even if they don’t click through to every resource you send, regular email activity is the kind of direct communication that reaffirms your value in the eyes of your customers.
  • Social media. During the pandemic, social media is a vital line of communication for many of your customers. It’s more important than ever to increase the visibility of your business through your various social channels. Listen to your customers – work hard to understand their concerns and use social media to deliver the resources and guidance they need right now.

During this period of quarantine, many businesses reliant on traditional sales channels are struggling to effectively communicate with their existing customer base. Crafting a simple but direct message to offer reassurance and practical help, and to continue to demonstrate your business’ core value, can help you avoid this problem.