Staying present: How to communicate during a pandemic

Posted on June 12, 2020

These past few months have been difficult for everyone. We are still learning to adapt to the effects of the new normal. We must redefine how we communicate with our target audiences, and we must also find ways to be innovative. Offering a helping hand when a client is struggling will build trust over the months and years to come.

Communicate as a leader

We must not only sell our services, but also empower the communities we serve. Working with organizations that support these communities is one way to demonstrate our leadership. Another is to create campaigns that address the specific needs brought about by these unprecedented times. Grateful clients can have a positive impact on your organization, and that impact begins with a successful communication strategy.

 Interact constructively with your target audience

To be successful, organizations must engage with their current and prospective clients in productive ways. That means evaluating current methods of communication to see what is and isn’t working. Fortunately, making those determinations doesn’t have to be a guessing game. Invite your clients to participate in anonymous surveys that rate the effectiveness of your messaging—whether it appears in email campaigns or website design. In addition to asking standard questions about customer satisfaction, include open-ended questions about the needs and wants of your target audience. Use the answers to determine how your business can help its clients succeed and grow. In addition, ask yourself these questions:

  • Is your business stepping up to provide resources or advice?
  • Are you thinking about ways to improve your virtual transactions and online messaging?
  • Are you offering affordable options (e.g., subscriptions, free consultations) for clients that are running short on funds?
  • Do you have a sales funnel? If you don’t, this is the time to create one. Salesfunnels illustrate buyer journeys with content that is targeted to each stage of the purchasing process. Developed properly, content in a sales funnel educates users about the specifics of a given product or service, with a purchase being the ultimate goal.
  • What should clients know about your business today?

Taking the time to answer these questions in detail will help you plan your organization’s strategy. Also, follow these steps to boost client relations:

  • Pick up the telephone. Because most business operations are now conducted virtually, it’s likely that your target audience feels as starved for human interaction as you do. Hearing someone’s voice can be almost as good as meeting with them in person.
  • Be available when your clients are most likely to need you. Depending on your industry, offering additional forms of communication like live chat and text messaging may increase engagement.
  • Answer questions promptly. Pay attention to your voice mails; no one likes playing phone tag. Prioritize responding to initial email inquiries within one business day. Even if you don’t have an answer within 24 hours, you can keep the client informed of your progress.

Although the suggestions above are best practices for any organization in any landscape, they’re especially important during these unprecedented times. Because this crisis has impacted the entire world, we can’t help thinking about it daily, and we can’t afford to ignore its effect on daily business operations—whether yours or those of your target audience. Let them know if your business hours have changed and update your messaging accordingly. Monitor pandemic updates regularly, comply with health and safety regulations at your office or job site, and assure your current and prospective clients that you’re being proactive about your—and their—health and safety. Above all, show your clients and prospects that you care about them. Demonstrate sympathy and empathy, and they will appreciate the personal touch.

Badie Designs specializes in creative design and marketing campaigns. If you’re having trouble mapping out the right communication strategy, please contact us for a consultation.