In the absence of in-person interactions, alternate forms of communication with customers are perhaps even more essential than ever. In today's message, we were fortunate to connect with
, President and Creative Director of
to help us better understand what is resonating with consumers during this time.
When something big is wrong, children don’t want us to pretend everything is ok and go on as usual. They want us to acknowledge changes, provide reasonable reassurance, and take small actions that remind them how much they mean to us. We all need more of that treatment right now.
Consumer research from
conducted March 28-29 shows that people react positively when messaging from companies indicates an awareness of current events. Consumers want your website, social media, Google, Yelp, and other online presence to mention Covid-19 and tell them the changes it’s meant for your business. This could be as simple as stating restricted hours, how to contact you, or the services you can provide. Try to personalize it within your brand’s voice without being too lighthearted. Some example language:
- “#SaferatHome – Our store is temporarily closed, but we’re watching online orders and responding to emails at firstname.lastname@example.org. We miss you.”
- “Everyone at Storied Store is safe and well, as we hope are you. We will reopen in late April for curbside pickup and deliveries. Please watch our [Facebook account link here] for more details.”
- “We’re working from home and ready to hear from you. Please email us and let us know how we can help.”
Consumers also want to hear that companies are reacting to current events with positive changes. Research shows they appreciate merchandise and services that pertain to their current everyday experience, so it makes sense to let them know you have games or craft items that will help them pass the time, special foods or gardening items, books or journals, or virtual lessons, and that you’ve made adjustments to allow for pickup or delivery. They also want to know what you’re doing for others. Mention any special safety measures or monetary benefits you’ve provided for your staff, and share any ways you’ve reached out to help the broader community.
Shared experiences have proven to be one of the most effective messages during this time. Large nonprofits have benefited from star-studded “at-home” concerts, and closer to home, people have come together for virtual tours, wine-tastings, and exercise classes. If video is too daunting, consider other ways you can reach out to customers with tiny entertainment gifts – sharing a quick recipe for a rainy night, introducing a treasured collection, or reconnecting by posting staff and customer photos. The content should be brand-related, but mostly it should remind your customers that, even now, their needs are on your mind, and they can return to your business with confidence.