HOW TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER LOYALTY DURING A PANDEMIC

HOW TO IMPROVE CUSTOMER LOYALTY DURING A PANDEMIC

It’s an open secret that times are changing. This past year has completely altered the reality we once knew and created circumstances of unpredictability. People are now forced to adapt to this “New Normal” and brands are trying to navigate this change, fearing how it might affect the relationship with their customer base. Customer Loyalty is being put to the test. This is a time for companies to be proactive, assess the renewed offerings they can launch in the market that will not only benefit the customers during these unprecedented times but also provide a much needed momentum for the future.

Here is a quick guide for creating effective communication which will help to maintain customer loyalty and trust in and after these ambivalent times.


1. Add Value with Non-Sales Content.

 Currently, customers are facing various new experiences, for instance, working from home and being required to wear facemasks outside.

Building a stronger emotional bond with customers by providing them with content that supports these activities which may seem challenging at times can go a long way. This provides them with a feeling of being understood; a feeling of empathy.

Don’t focus on attempting to generate more business through promotion-heavy campaigns. Instead, provide them with information that they will value during these times. This can include information regarding how to stay safe and healthy, or innovative social challenges which have been designed to create a sense of community and togetherness.


2. Making Policies Flexible.

 During times like these, when customers everywhere are struggling, providing them with “wiggle room” on policies such a returns and other such terms and conditions can go a help in convincing customers that your brand is a keeper.

 For example, Marriott paused points expiration for its Bonvoy loyalty program, as well as adjusting the hotel chain’s cancellation policy to be more flexible during the pandemic.

 https://www.businesstraveller.com/business-travel/2020/04/09/marriott-bonvoy-announces-elite-status-and-benefit-extensions/

 Announcing policy changes can also be considered as a good excuse to reach out to customers and ensure that your brand is top of mind, without pushing a sale.

 

3. Look for Ways to Give Back to the Community.

 Supporting causes bigger than your company is a key element of reciprocity.

 For example, LinkedIn is opening up 16 of its learning courses for free. Courses that provide tips on how to stay productive, build relationships when you’re not face-to-face, use virtual meeting tools and balance family and work dynamics in a healthy way. 

 https://www.forbes.com/sites/blakemorgan/2020/03/17/50-ways-companies-are-giving-back-during-the-corona-pandemic/#2f66a74e4723

 

4. Adapt to New Consumer Habits. 

Consumer Behavior has changed rapidly, especially after the imposing of lockdowns. People are focusing on affordable and cheaper products and prioritizing on essential products. In order to retain loyalty towards your brand, you must be able to adapt to this new behavior.

This can be done by providing discounts and offers, or even by making adjustments to your products, for example by either producing or providing in-demand resources such as staple food, face masks, sanitizers and so on.

You should also try to keep a check on your inventory. Ensure that it contains only the items which are in demand. Avoiding unnecessary purchases could also prove helpful.

 

5. Improve Customer Experience.

 People are looking for more convenient ways to shop. If customers find it difficult to access your pages or face difficulties in purchasing, they might switch to other brands which provide them with the shopping experience that they are looking for.

 Here are some things you can do for the same:

 

·       Improve navigation features on your website and other platforms so that they can find what they are looking for with more ease.

·       Simplify the process of payment by providing all the billing information in a single view.

·       Increase the number of options when it comes to payment methods, in order to speed up the checkout process.


6. Practice Listening to the Customers and Focusing on their Problems.

 Listening to what your customers have to say is an essential step in making them feel valued so that they continue to stick with your brand. Another boon is that this will also help you improve your products and services.

 One of the best ways to make your customers feel heard is by tracking review sites like Yelp, Glassdoor, etc. Make sure to analyze and respond to every query or problem that your customers are facing. Another way to receive feedback is by conducting surveys. Surveys can be conducted via emails or push notifications to your customers and even through various social media platforms like Facebook or Instagram.

 

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