Communicating with Customers During Challenging Times

Kim Spalding spoke at the Survive and Thrive Summit and talked about how to communicate effectively during challenging times. Hosted and produced by Ramon Ray of Smart Hustle Media, the first Summit was held in April 2020 with the next one will be in Spring 2021. It's free, so sign up to find out when registration starts.

Marketing and communication are two business fronts that need constant work. And even when you feel confident in your messaging, things can suddenly change. Take COVID-19 for example. Business messaging and communication has been turned upside and without any notice. Have you felt this frustration in your business? Keep reading to learn how to effectively communicate with customers during challenging times.

Better Communication is Possible

Kim works at Google and was able to share some great tips on how businesses can communicate effectively and even better during difficult times. This applies to both small and large organizations. COVID-19 has forced many businesses to shift their focus, which means communication needs to change as well.

Customers and potential customers need to understand new things during this time so creating a stronger communication plan will actually feed into your marketing, vs just pushing out products and services. 

Digital Content Communication

Many business hours have changed, the way to order or pick up is different, plus there might be new products and services, so this all has to be reflected properly online so there’s no confusion. We all know that customers are easily frustrated if they can’t find what they need or if the information they are given is incorrect. 

First and foremost, you need to update your digital content — this means your website, Google profile, social media, and any ads you are running.

Use Video

Kim told us about how video is a great way to reach customers.

You can use it to provide timely information or give a history into the business or a tutorial on a product. A video brings information to life and captures attention when done properly, so now is the time to add it to your toolbox of marketing. You can create a totally free channel on YouTube and Google even offers a free video builder tool, so this is all possible without spending money.

Language Sensitivity

Be sensitive to the content and photos that your business is promoting —  ads, your website, social media, etc. The tone and language should not add stress or concern to the people reading it.

Everyone is already feeling on edge, you don't want to add to it. Your marketing messages should stick to what you are doing as a business and how you can help customers get what they need, with as much ease as possible. 

Use your content to tell customers how to interact with you, so they know how to prepare. Whether it’s curbside pick up, delivery, a different shipping schedule, or something else, this information creates the opportunity to set standards and plan ahead. Also, make sure to talk about how you are keeping staff and customers safe.

This is important information when people decide where to shop. They want to know that everyone they are interacting with is being safe and therefore keeping them safe too. 

Resources for Businesses

Go to Google, and then type in Google for Small Business to find the tools available. These tools can support your business in many different ways. Many of the resources are free and will aid in making sure you cover all your bases. 

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