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How to Talk to Your Customers About Coronavirus

How to Talk to Your Customers About Coronavirus

Everyone’s talking about Coronavirus. This pandemic is impacting our society in many ways. Major events have been cancelled, companies are encouraging employees to work remotely if possible, schools are closing or switching to online-only instruction, and we’re being urged to adopt “social distancing” – the World Health Organization explains that this is maintaining a physical distance of at least three feet between yourself and anyone you see who is coughing or otherwise appears ill.

While this is all going on, you still have a business to run. Your customers still have needs and concerns. In this uncertain environment, they’re going to have questions, including things like:

  • Are you still open for business?
  • Is this upcoming event going to happen as scheduled?
  • What impact does COVID-19 have on my order?
  • Are the products I’d like to order currently available?
  • Is it safe to use products from a specific place of origin, such as China or Italy?
  • Have I been exposed to Coronavirus while visiting your place of business?
  • What precautions do I need to take to protect myself when visiting your facility?
  • And more.

This list is not exhaustive, because this situation is developing rapidly and additional concerns may arise. What’s important to understand is that good customer service means pro-actively addressing these types of questions via your messaging. This is a demonstration of competence and concern that matters during times of crisis.

The type of messaging you need to share will vary depending on what type of business you’re in. B2B companies are facing a lot of questions about supply chain concerns, delivery timelines, and product safety, whereas B2C companies are receiving more experiential questions, such as are you open and how will ongoing operations be affected.

When composing your message, here’s what to keep in mind:

  • Remember it’s best to keep the copy short and to the point. You don’t need to write pages of explanation: everyone is aware of Coronavirus, so there’s no need to tell the backstory. Write only enough to say everything you have to say.
  • Hate writing? Make a video on your phone if you’re more comfortable. The message is what matters, not the medium.
  • Make sure your information is absolutely accurate. If there are concerns you can’t address with absolute accuracy, say so. An example of this is, “We know that some of our overseas orders have been delayed, but at this point, we don’t know for how long.” When you do this, it is vital to let your customers know that you will update them with the correct information as soon as it becomes available.

There are several ways to share messaging about Coronavirus with your customers.

  • If you have a physical location, you need signage in public areas letting the public know any relevant information you’d like them to be aware of. For example, a conference center nearby had signage regarding the new No Handshakes policy they’re implementing for the duration of the crisis. Signs don’t have to be fancy – you can print out something simple on your computer – but you do need them. People look for signs.
  • Digitally, you can disseminate your COVID-19 messaging in a few ways.
  • Email marketing is a smart choice: craft your subject line & preview text carefully as that may be all your customers read.
  • Text messaging may be appropriate for the high-touch business serving people who are potentially most-at risk, such as older customers or those with health challenges. The high open rate for text messages makes them a good choice for critical messaging.
  • You can use social media to share your Coronavirus messaging when appropriate. It may be a good idea to pin relevant posts to the top of your social media feed for the duration of this crisis so they’re the first thing customers see when they visit your page.
  • Finally, include Coronavirus messaging prominently on your website. Best practice would be a home page mention as well as a blog or article written specifically to address search queries relevant to your business.

Time is of the essence, but you want to make sure you’re handling everything appropriately. If you need help making this happen, our team is here for you. Just give us a ring, and we’ll help you get the bases covered.

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Creative Director/Senior Designer

Tom DiGrazia

With over a decade and a half of professional design experience, Tom brings his knowledge of design principles and focus on user experience to every aspect of his contribution to TTG. Paying special attention to each client’s brand, personalized needs and individual interests, he strives to create compelling concepts utilizing intuitive and highly-refined design solutions. In addition to traditional and digital design work and oversight at TTG, Tom also boasts a wide portfolio of web development projects with the company, allowing him to stretch his CSS and HTML skills across multiple platforms and disciplines. He feels that being a designer in the digital landscape of websites, eCommerce solutions, email marketing platforms and social media, it is important to understand the code that goes into these areas as it assists his ability to tailor designs specifically targeted to achieve the best end result and further builds understanding and communication with backend development teams.

In his off hours, Tom is an avid pop culture enthusiast, staying up to date on the latest shows, films, comics and games. He can also typically be found taking part in a whole host of artistic activities that help him further stretch his creative legs. Regardless of the activity, Tom is always accompanied by his dog, Eli, and his cat, Tib.

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Courtney Dumont

As Senior Marketing Strategist & Analyst at Technology Therapy Group, Courtney is energized by the ability to flex both her left and right brain daily. Courtney discovered her passion for Marketing at Bryant University, where she spearheaded research on students’ perceptions of Social Media Marketing for her Honors Capstone Project. After graduating Bryant in 2012, she joined the Technology Therapy team, where she’s honed her skills in social media, search and social advertising, email marketing, SEO, and more.

Since joining the team, Courtney has created digital marketing strategies and managed campaigns for clients across the country, ranging from plastic surgery centers, to jewelry stores, to construction companies. With a cohesive, cross-channel approach and a focus on data-driven decision making, she has increased their leads by up to 217%. But Courtney doesn’t leave her zeal for social media at the office; she also runs a local foodie Instagram account with her husband to document their meals across Rhode Island and beyond. Check them out: @hoppilyfed.

Marketing Strategy, Data Analysis, Google Ads, Facebook Ads, Social Media

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