Editor’s Note: We’re currently hunkered down and keeping our team safe by practicing good habits: washing hands, keeping a safe distance from others, sending lots of virtual high fives and making sure to cough/sneeze into our elbows. We recognize the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic, and thank those who are on the front lines of this situation.
As the coronavirus continues spreading throughout most of the world, a curious trend has taken over many email inboxes. Dozens of B2C businesses like Target, IKEA and other retailers, are all sending emails that detail their response to COVID-19 and explain how they’re keeping their customers safe. Some have opted for more robust cleaning schedules, while others are decreasing nonessential staff or store hours. But each one of these emails aims to inform and reassure their customers about what measures they’re taking to keep people safe. And it makes sense for businesses like these to enact these changes – after all, B2C brands have direct contact with thousands of consumers on a day-to-day basis. However, it is just as important for B2B companies to communicate with their customers during this time as well, especially when it comes to safety.
Communicating with your customers during times of crisis lets them know you haven’t forgotten about them. In the same way that you wouldn’t want to leave your company’s phones or email inboxes unanswered, you don’t want to give the impression that your business has “gone dark.” Many of your customers likely depend on you for vital supplies, so it’s important they understand whether they can reach you and if they’ll continue to have access to the reliable resources you provide. There are a number of ways you can communicate this information to your customers, but a few of the main channels are your website or blog, your social media presence and email.
Regardless of which method you use to communicate with your customers, you’ll want to ensure you discuss the most important concerns in your customers’ minds. For example, you can educate them on how you’re working to overcome any current or expected product delivery delays; whether they can anticipate fulfillment issues of certain supplies; and what safety measures you’re taking to keep them, your products and your employees safe. Communicating early and often lets your customers know that even when times are tough, you’re still making them a priority and considering their needs. Don’t be afraid to invite them to contact you if they’d like to talk through their concerns via phone call or video chat. Just because in-person meetings aren’t an option, doesn’t mean you can’t meet virtually. In fact, video conferencing is so effective that 90% of respondents say it makes it easier to get their point across and 89% say it helps them feel connected.
With many businesses working from home right now, it’s a great time to engage with your customers by taking a deep dive into both the safety precautions you’re currently taking to address the coronavirus epidemic, and those you utilize on a daily basis as well. But don’t just list off your credentials – tell your customers a story! Explain how each certification, from forklift driving to food safety measures, ultimately works to benefit them by helping ensure the highest possible quality and safety in your products, so that they, in turn, can safely produce the necessities their customers need. A dynamic email that graphically showcases your manufacturing safety, a video posted to your company’s blog that explains your supply traceability or a brief animation on Facebook and Twitter explaining how your delivery systems work – these are all important safety messages that help keep your brand top of mind and provide your customers with a vital component many of them are looking for in times of crisis: reassurance.
Stay tuned for our next post, where we’ll go more in-depth on some of the ways you can stay in front of your customers during this time!
How are you keeping your employees and customers safe during the coronavirus epidemic? What communication strategies have been effective for your business? Leave us a comment below.