We’ve all been there. A friend or colleague is going through a tough time, and we aren’t sure what to say, so we say nothing, avoid talking about the issue or avoid the person altogether. No one blames you. Many people shy away from tough conversations, even with those closest to them.
But as a brand or a business owner, avoiding addressing the current pandemic, and the resulting worldwide crisis, simply isn’t an option. This is arguably the biggest challenge your customers and clients have ever faced, and you need to show up for them in a meaningful and authentic way.
Your customers are going to go through 3 stages during this new normal of work/life at home, restricted travel and isolation: adjustment, peak and recovery.
For many of your customers, they are still in the adjustment stage. What value can you add to their experience while they are figuring out how to work from home effectively, teach their children, redo budgets or take care of elderly relatives from afar? Can you help them by recommending schedule tools, delivery services, etc? Does your industry have something to offer for their mental health, at-home fitness, or daily meal planning?
Ask yourself what new problem they may be facing, which you can help them solve. Even if it just means sending helpful articles, or brightening their day with an email filled with beautiful images, etc. your clients will appreciate it and remember.
If you don’t feel you have any way to really help, simply reach out through your newsletter or social channels letting them know how you are doing, what measures your business is taking, how you are helping your community. Every business can help spread good news, promote other local businesses, or post a feel-good story each day. Now is the time to lay a strong foundation of connection and community for when we are back up and running business as usual (or the new usual!)
Step up now. Communicate and demonstrate your brand values by showing you care about your clients and your community. We’ll say it again, get personal. If now isn’t the perfect time to let your customers know WHO you really are, then I’m not sure when it would be.
And for those of you still able to run your business, feel free to keep selling. Selling, at its core, is simply connecting a person with what they need or want. Done with grace and an acknowledgment of the current situation, most of us are happy to see a great offer in our inbox, learn how to order products online, or that your store now delivers. So help us out! Let us know.
Hopefully, we are preaching to the choir here and you are already doing all of these things, but if not, we hope you’ll be brave and think about each and every one of your ideal customers, and reach out. Even though we are far from business-as-usual, there is still much you can be doing to set yourself up for success once things return to normal.
Until then, stay home and stay well.