Social distancing: How to remain connected to your customers
It is a frightening time for both consumers and businesses at the moment. Using social media helps you stay socially connected to customers at a time when they are being encouraged to socially distance themselves from being out and about.
Businesses may be serving customers less, they may be doing it less face to face, but that shouldn’t and doesn’t mean that you can no longer serve them. Follow Bira’s approved service partner for social engagement Maybe* top tips to stay connected.
1) Listen first, post later
2) Think local. Follow and engage with conversations about your local area
3) Keep your customers informed
4) Monitor the conversations about Coronavirus and Covid19
5) Measure and track how people in your area are feeling
6) Share positive and inspiring content
Maybe* helps teams stay connected to local customers and to understand where they need help, what is concerning them or frightening them. There’s some wonderfully optimistic and inspirational content out there too. When you see it share it so you can brighten your customers’ day too.
View this post on Instagram
This is for all of my fellow small business owners that have had to make the heartbreaking decission to close all our shops today and over the last few days. The sun will shine again and we will come out the other side. Right now it’s about keeping everyone safe and healthy. Thank you to all our wonderful loyal customers that will be beating down our doors when we all reopen again…and reopen we will 😘 #staysafe #supportsmallbusiness #shoplocal #museboutique #Waterford
Stay positive and think local
Now is the time to connect with positive conversations and local conversations with your customers and other businesses. Being open and honest, human and personal is a stalwart of a good social media engagement strategy, but it is even more important at difficult times like these
You can use Maybe* to listen to anything that is being said about the town or place in which you are operating. Understanding the sentiment of how people are feeling, what they need, where they need it and when they need it, will help you serve customers in today’s difficult times.
Even if it’s not your own business that you are recommending, helping connect someone to what they need increases your visibility and builds trust with existing and future customers. Now more than ever this really matters.
Suggestions of conversations to engage with
You could choose to listen to the conversation about Coronavirus and Covid19 in specific towns or places, or more broadly across the UK. Or we would recommend you focus on a more positive topic that you could listen and engage with the conversation about you town or the #shoplocal conversation.
Customers want to support their local businesses and protect them. Listening and engaging in the conversation about your place and shop local will help you build relationships and engage with a relevant customer base.
View this post on Instagram
We will be continuing to wipe down our credit card pin pad between customers, as well as all our door handles etc. As of tomorrow we will not be taking any cash 💵 , but only cards and even better, those all too easy phone 📱 tap payments! No contact at all necessary then! We are dashing to finish our new website but will start to do regular stories with all our wonderful new products. We are happy to post anything out and won’t charge postage in the current environment. Please call if you see anything you love. Or just for a chat if you feel lonely – we all love a chat 💭 We really do appreciate your support at this time and any parcels will include a small treat from us – as we all need to smile a bit right now. Stay safe everyone 💕 #staysafeoutthere #spoilyourself #wecare #callforachat #worryingtimes #shoplocal #keepitlocal #nocrowds #socialdistancing #poptoyourlocalhighstreet #bruton
Understand how your customers are feeling
While listening to Coronavirus, and Covid 19 will help you understand how people are feeling, how other businesses are responding will point you in the direction of support and advice. At a time where it may feel like you’re going it alone, remember – we’re all in the same boat on a very choppy sea.
It can be tempting in a time of scarce demand to double down on your outgoing communication. But shouting louder and more often is not going to cut through when customers are more concerned with their health and other priorities.
THINGS TO DO INSIDE TODAY
1. Clean the kitchen
2. Have a little stretch
3. Call a grandparent
4. Clean the kitchen again
5. Search "dog dressed as 2 dogs carrying a present"
6. Clean the kitchen for a third time
7. Haven't cleaned the kitchen in a while
8. Clean the kitchen again
— innocent drinks (@innocent) March 17, 2020
Listen first, post later
When creating content, try and avoid resharing factually incorrect or unconfirmed health advice or rumours. This will not help customers or businesses. Ask yourself “is this useful to my customer?” first.
With this in mind, you may wish to consider pausing your planned marketing efforts, and instead focusing on engaging with customers and other local businesses. Listening first will help you help others. Listening first allows you to ensure your communications are relevant to who you are talking to.
Keep your customers informed
Use social media to communicate any changes to your operating hours, or any ways in which you are helping customers. Perhaps you are a small store which is offering to make deliveries, perhaps you provide a service and are extending deadlines or redemption windows. Maybe you are reducing or limiting the amount of certain products customers can buy.
This is all essential and relevant information. By communicating this information proactively, you are serving customers at a high level, reducing a hit to your customer satisfaction levels and demonstrating that you are doing all you can to retain them in the future.
Need a hand?
Engaging in this way is our bread and butter – it’s what we do everyday. But we appreciate that for many people who are new to it, engaging like this may feel a bit odd. Join Maybe* for a free webinar designed to help businesses get to grips with working remotely. Dates coming soon – keep an eye out for new listing on the Bira Events page.
Click on the button below to access the latest advice and support for you and your retail business, during the Coronavirus pandemic.