How to keep in touch with customers and why it is important now
Long-lasting self-isolation can well thin out your customer base. Slow competitors will intercept someone, and someone will go where it’s cheaper. Gathered tips to help minimize these risks.
1. Stay visible
If the business is still not working at full strength or even on a pause, this is not a reason to drop accounts on social networks. Now, this is your main channel of communication with regular and potential customers. It’s time to develop it with renewed energy: firstly, this way you will keep your existing audience, and secondly, you will attract new subscribers.
If delivery works for you (contactless, of course), explain how it works and tell us what you are doing to protect couriers and customers. For example, you monitor the health of employees and provide them with masks and an antiseptic, and accept payments only online. Remind in your communication about special offers - discounts and purchase certificates, which you can use when the self-isolation ends.
Social networks are communication, so talk to subscribers. Ask what products or services to add to the assortment, introduce readers to your team, and do not forget about live broadcasts and challenges. Cafes and restaurants can hold workshops with cooks, and fitness clubs can go beyond online training and start a competition among subscribers: for example, whoever stays the longest in the bar gets a free lesson with a trainer. Subscribers post videos or photos, tag you, the audience is growing.
2. Don't keep waiting
Just put yourself in the shoes of the customer. Let's say the product you are interested in is sold in two stores. The price differs slightly, but on one site your question about the delivery conditions is not answered the third day, and on the other, they answered within an hour, explained everything, and also gave the promotional code as a new buyer. Most likely, you will not return to the first store.
Give customers a choice of several channels for communication: not only a phone number but also a chat on the site, the ability to ask a question in a personal message on a social network, or using a messenger. It is physically impossible to be in touch 24 hours a day, but during working hours keep the waiting period to a minimum. Respond to messages and missed customer calls for at least an hour. And if you need more time for an answer, warn about it and indicate approximate dates.
3. Work on the quality of service
You can scare away the buyer at the first telephone call. If the client addresses you himself, then at least he is thinking about buying, but something is preventing him from making the final decision. Your task is to find out what the problem is and solve it: for example, tell us more about the product or send additional photos, explain how special offers are arranged and what needs to be done to get a discount.
To understand at what point the conversation turned the wrong way, record the calls (of course, warning the client about this), and then analyze the errors. Perhaps the problem was in monosyllabic answers - it may look like a clear reluctance to talk with a buyer who, in fact, is ready to give you money. The other extreme is an excessive obsession. Keep a balance: show that the call is really important to you, but do not attack the client with constant reminders of burning offers.
To support the conversation, ask questions — open-ended, not questions that can be answered “yes” or “no.” It will turn out to deal with typical doubts and objections in order to bring the client to the purchase. If he can’t make a decision right away, don’t let things go by chance, but check when you need to call back.
4. Invest in the channels that bring the most return
It seems that you can completely abandon promotion in only one case: if you have finally decided to start a business. Even in times of crisis, don’t stop advertising: you can save money, but when the hard times are over, you still have to remind yourself of the consumers - spend more effort and money. One or two months can be extended on deferred demand, and then it will be necessary to start everything from scratch.
When the budget is already breaking apart, find out which communication channels bring the most sales. The rule is simple: the cheaper it costs to attract one client, the more effective the advertising. To track the call and find out which advertising message brought the buyer to you, you can use the cool tracking services, but if you are running out of money, use unique promotional codes or phone numbers - each for its own site. You can’t do without errors, but you will get a reliable idea of how advertising works.
5. Analyze call statistics
All incoming calls can be divided into two groups: target and general calls. Targeted ones usually last longer than general ones: the buyer calls you for a reason, he wants to make a purchase and clarify its conditions. If you sell furniture, and the client calls and asks if you are repairing it, hears a refusal and says goodbye, this is not a target or a general call - he cannot bring profit.
To increase sales, analyze the content of conversations with potential buyers. A large number of inappropriate calls is a sure sign that advertising is not very effective: in other words, the client does not understand what you are selling to him. You can focus on targeted calls: find out what kind of problem customers are most likely to address, and put emphasis on its solution on social networks and on the website.
Finally, if you turn off your work phone on the weekend, it’s not surprising that sales are falling: customers would be happy to get through, but they cannot. Have to adapt to their schedule. Determine when calls are made most often - during the working day, late in the evening, or on Saturdays and Sundays - and be prepared so as not to miss the buyer.