Are you open? Do you have the same services? How have your procedures changed? Is the price still the same? How does customer service work now?
None of this information is universally known by your customers and prospects any longer. We can assume nothing in regard to what customers know about businesses in this “next normal.”
In this webinar, we hear from Jay Baer, founder of the marketing and customer experience consultancy Convince & Convert, author of six best-selling business books, and a Hall of Fame keynote speaker. Baer shares insights and actions to help your rewire your customer relationships, starting immediately.
Here are the key takeaways:
On Reconfiguring and Repackaging Products and Services
The number of changes in the products and vendors consumers choose is substantial, Baer says. More than a third have tried a new brand since the pandemic and 65% plan to stay with the new brand.
This means you must protect customer relationships you’ve already earned. On the other hand, we are unlikely to ever again have such a large shift in brand preference in our business careers. That makes it a tremendous opportunity to grow your own market share.
Businesses are changing too. Telemedicine, online consultations and delivery services were all going to happen eventually, but adoption was forced in weeks instead of years. In many cases, like virtual healthcare visits, we won’t ever go back to the way things were before the coronavirus outbreak.
Marketers and communicators now have to inform consumers of those changes and improve their operations, Baer says, to make products and services more relevant and easier to buy. Whether that strategy uses local listings, discounts, warranties or other assurances, “the ultimate requirement is to make it easier than ever to buy from you.”
On Re-Introducing Offerings and Re-Educating Consumers
Many of these operational changes have project management implications, whether at a hospital, retailer or restaurant. To make customers feel more comfortable, staff need to know the rules, be aware of policy changes, and understand how to communicate with customers about their changed experience.
“Customers are more uncertain than ever,” Baer says. “Your job is to close the uncertainty gap.”
It’s essential to push information about your company’s COVID-19 response without making customers go dig for it. This includes updating your website and local listings pages, along with pushing highly relevant information to all platforms, from email to Instagram. Baer also recommends building “the ultimate FAQ” to serve as a foundation for your crisis communications and using a technology solution to push local information into listings, social media and review sites.
“The time for saying you’re taking precautions is gone,” Baer says. Marketing communications need to include specific, relevant pieces of information about how customers can engage with your business.
On Responding to Customer Questions and Feedback
The array of customer questions and feedback is likely to be much broader than pre-pandemic levels. That means you’ll have to “listen harder,” as people talk about your business in places you wouldn’t historically think of as customer service channels, such as social media and maps applications.
Word of mouth is likewise more important to consumers now, given the uncertainty in previously simple customer experience touchpoints. Pre-pandemic reviews are non-persuasive – anything before February won’t matter much to consumers because the experience has changed. Meanwhile, Google is turning reviews back on without notification, so businesses will need a higher percentage of customers to leave reviews.
For more insights and advice, click here to watch the on-demand webinar.
Read more about COVID-19’s impact on healthcare marketing on our COVID-19 Resources page and in these articles:
- Lessons from COVID-19: Using Local Business Listings for Crisis Management
- The Numbers Behind Telemedicine: What Healthcare Marketers Should Know
- Ask an Expert: How to Optimize Your Listings for COVID-19 Reopening
- How a Multi-Specialty Physician Group Leverages Patient Feedback
- Here’s How to Get Your COVID-19 Testing Center Listed on Google
About the Author
Content Marketing Specialist