How to Keep Your Customers Updated During the COVID-19 Disruption

Wednesday, 8 April 2020  |  Posted in: Most Recent, News  |  6min read

For many businesses, COVID-19 has not only meant personal fear for employees and customers. It has also initiated a period of uncertainty and rapid change. Overnight, many businesses had to shift to an entirely online operating model such as developing or expanding eCommerce options. Many customers have no idea what to expect from the businesses they interact with on a regular basis, including how those businesses will choose to handle the disruption. Continued communication and updates for those customers provides a critical aid during this difficult period.

In this article, we present our recommendations for communicating effectively with your customers during the ongoing global disruption.

  • Update your website content to share information

    Make sure your website provides the most up-to-date, accurate information for customers in places they can see easily. Your website is one of the primary points of communication for your business, and one of the first places your customers will check when they’re looking for information about how your business is handling the current crisis.

    Our approach was to publish a page of content that we have kept updating as the information has changed that informs our customers and clients what we as a business is doing and what measures we have put in place to continue to service them.

  • Put your key messages front and centre on your homepage

    Right now, your customers are looking for easy access to key information, not just about your business itself, but about how your business is handling this disruption. Place this information directly on your homepage to make it easy for your customers to get their questions answered and access the latest, most up-to-date information about changes made by your business.

    If you have an important announcement about how COVID-19 has impacted the way you do business, put it front and centre on your homepage to ensure that customers see it straight away, just like we have.

  • Write more detailed and relevant content on subpages

    Carefully consider the construction of your website and the subpages customers may visit. For example, the page where you have information about your business’s location could need an update that includes if and when your business is open during this time. You may also want to include information about longer wait times or decreased offerings on your customer service page to make it easier for customers to access that information as they browse or interact with your business online.

  • Use your blog to post timely communications

    Your blog is normally a source of comprehensive industry information that will help you connect with your customers. Now, you can take advantage of that platform to share information about how your business is adapting in the face of COVID-19. This is also a great place to share more detailed information for customers who are looking for that reassurance or to offer a personal message directly from your CEO or another authority within your company.

    We are using our blog to provide content relevant to our customers at this time to help them adapt to the crisis and use this time to develop and strengthen their digital assets.

  • Alert your website users if there are major changes to the way you are operating

    If you have changed the way you do business in a way that your customers need to be immediately aware of, simply updating your website pages may not be enough. If you have a critical message that customers need to see, a popup or alert banner on your website will bring that information to their immediate attention.

    Alerts can be easily enabled, changed, or disabled as needed. For some, this may be a better option than directly updating homepage content. Popups can also help share information about community relief efforts which are incredibly valuable during this time. If you want to raise awareness of your efforts so that more people can access your services or contribute to them, popups can make your message highly visible and help to spread the word online.

  • Consider your cross-channel communication strategy

    Set up an internal task force to decide on the messages you want to share with your customers and your community throughout the current crisis. These should be the people communicating with your customers and approving all messages that go through your system to help provide consistency and ensure that your messaging is in line with the image you want to portray for your business.

    Once you know your messages and your audience make sure you reach out through all the relevant channels, remembering that you have your website but also social media, email marketing and potentially advertising placements that can and should be updated as part of your marketing strategy.

  • Proceed with caution

    Keep in mind that this is an extremely sensitive subject. Not only do you want to make sure that your messaging is consistent with government recommendations and requirements, but you also want to offer sensitivity and empathy to customers impacted by the COVID-19 crisis. For this reason, it is absolutely essential that you take extreme caution before releasing any topical content and speak honestly and transparently.

    The safest option is to limit your communications to what you are doing that is affecting your customers and refer to the Australian Government Department of Health or World Health Organisation for the latest in health and medical information.

  • Keep your messaging consistent

    When you constantly need to update business information, it’s easy to miss critical channels. Unfortunately, this can lead to increased confusion and can prevent consumers from interacting with you online. If you need to update your information, including opening hours, be sure to change it on all platforms, including your website, your social media pages, and your Google My Business listing. Make sure your internal task force or web agency knows which platforms you’re presently using, and keep that list on hand to help keep your messaging consistent.

For assistance with your digital strategy and marketing communications, our team is here to help. If you have extra ongoing requirements over this time, consider using our Block Hours to help you meet your needs. In response to this global disruption, we have expanded our Block Hours to now cover all of the services we offer, so our clients can increase their flexibility and resilience.

Contact us today if you would like to learn more about how we can help during this period.

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Phone us on 1300 375 368 for an obligation-free chat with a digital specialist about how we can help to scale up your business online.

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