If you haven’t been in contact with your customers during lockdown, it’s not too late. Do it now. They need to know what your new normal looks like.
Non-vital shops are opening, pubs are doing take outs and we can ‘bubble’ with other households. But we’re not out of the woods yet and life isn’t going to be business as usual for a long time.
We all had to innovate during lockdown and now we need to adjust again - to a lockdown- easing-normal. The ability to be flexible, adaptable and solution orientated has never been more important (both at home and work) than it is right now.
You might tell me you're waiting for government guidance before you do anything, but in most cases there’s plenty you can do before you get that. Your customers are going to be looking to you, not the government, to tell them what's going on. This is the time to cement their loyalty. If you don’t, they will find someone else who will.
Learning from others
Brands like Ocado were loyal to their existing customers at the exclusion of all others. They immediately shut out all new custom. While some view this as a negative because they weren't part of the solution required by the vulnerable in our communities, their existing customers don't care, they absolutely LOVE THEM!
Other brands like Milk & More, tried their best to cope with a huge increase in orders. Unfortunately, they suffered under the strain, didn't adapt quickly enough and lost existing customers due to service delivery issues.
How did you react going into lockdown? What's the messaging that you need to focus on so you can start to retrieve lost revenue and prepare to grow it again?
Who were you impressed by or disappointed in? Can you learn lessons from their actions?
What to say
Everyone is forgiving of radio silence because we’ve all been processing, assessing, learning, home schooling and generally trying to keep sane! It’s a sad truth that some businesses simply won’t survive, so at the very least, you need to tell your customers that you’re still here.
Most useful is something focusing on what you're doing, or have done, or will be able to do, for them going forward:
- That you're still here
- What you've been doing to get back to helping them
- How the way you support them will be different now
- When you're going to be ready
- When they'll next year from you
This email from Argos is a good example. I’d heard nothing from them during lockdown but didn’t need to because my experience of their service was largely unaffected. Unlike Tesco and Sainsbury’s, who were falling over themselves to tell me how well they were doing (while my 75-year-old Mum was still unable to get a delivery)! What do you think can be learnt here?*
What I can help with
I'm still here to support you with any copywriting or strategic support you might need during these strange times. Contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need help with:
- Board reports
- Press releases
- Product or data sheets
- Internal and external market research
- Customer service analysis
- Strategic service design
- Digital product design (Agile environment)
- Product management
What's the craziest thing you've experienced in lockdown?
And because the world has gone crazy at the moment, a little light-hearted sign off. I thought being told I couldn’t go in a DIY store without a trolley (when I didn’t need one) was pretty crazy. Then I thought, I know, it’s so that they can enforce social distancing – we’d all be a trolley distance apart. But, no, it was because they couldn’t count people in and out!
Then, I heard that a branch of a discount supermarket was actually using carabiners to clip groups of people to a rope. Six people were clipped two metres apart and told to keep the rope taught. So far, that takes the prize as far as I’m concerned! Have you heard of anything else?
Looking forward to hearing from you at email@example.com.
* Clue: there's two - they're about the importance of customer data collection and the power of PR.