Communication during a crisis is about protecting your core asset, your customers. The digital transformation of business has shifted enterprise focus toward customer retention and the pursuit of long-term value. Challenges such as the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic only reinforce the importance of keeping the customers you have. Retaining those customers will require efficient, high-value communication between you and your customers.
Even more than at other times during the customer journey, your customers want leadership, support, and guidance from you. During a crisis, that support and guidance should rely on a clear understanding of your customer and engagement based on facts, not guesswork.
Tips on Communications During a Crisis
The need for the right kind of communication with your customers is even more important in the current environment. At the same time, it’s harder to cut through the noise to reach customers right now and harder to decide how and what to communicate. Communicating in an efficient way that offers value to customers during this crisis requires a dedicated reevaluation of the way you and your customer connect.
Your plan for communication during this crisis should revolve around three central strategies:
- Retune Internal Communication
- Segmentation and Support
- Deliver Value
The process begins with a simple understanding of how and when to communicate.
1. Retune Internal Communication
Your customers will need to make the most of the solutions they have right now. Many are trying to reduce costs and will want to know how to do more with less. This is where your proactive service and support can help them take full advantage of your product.
Make sure the metrics behind health scores and early warning systems are updated to account for the new environment. Retune your engagement model to reflect the reality of what you and your customer are experiencing right now. Improve efficiency by making use of features like dynamic assignment, which put the expertise of everyone at your company to work for you. And make sure you deeply understand your customer base, what they want and what they need, at this time.
Communication during a crisis begins with reinforcing the lines of communication and ends with a unique conversation about each customer’s path through their challenges. Segmentation, which we will talk about next, is critical to implementing this personalized messaging strategy.
2. Segmentation and Support
The key to conducting customized conversations that add value is being knowledgeable about each customer’s status and needs. Your message only matters if it is timely and relevant, rather than generic—otherwise, it will go unnoticed at a time when companies are narrowing their focus to only what matters to their survival.
Segmenting your customers according to the effect of COVID-19 on their business allows you to target and scale specific, personalized campaigns across your portfolio. You can further focus your messaging by segmenting according to location, industry, company size, digital adaptability, and customer lifetime value, which measures a customer’s total potential spend over the course of your relationship.
Customer segmentation leverages your customer success resources by giving your team an all-encompassing view across all accounts. As an organization, you can apply granular product usage and customer behavior metrics to produce a bird’s-eye view of the current health of every customer within their responsibility. This makes it possible to communicate efficiently with your customer in a personalized way that offers value to them right now.
3. Deliver Value
With changed conditions comes the need to find new ways of communicating with your customers. This goes beyond the necessities of basic communication to include the way you provide in-depth training, support, and proactive advice. Due to the restrictions placed on gathering and movement during the current pandemic, email communications have increased and employees are overwhelmed by their inboxes. Since communication cannot do its job if it does not reach the person it was intended for, it is critical right now that your company finds ways to deliver value.
Segment your customers and offer informative webinars and other events that deliver messages that speak to them and where they are in their journey.
- Invite customers to upcoming free training webinar series
- Provide virtual community events to promote new ideas and share best practices
- Offer free access to a valuable feature for a certain number of days
High-value messages that have relevance to the customer can achieve a 50 percent open rate—even during a crisis.
Understand Your Audience
Effective communications during a crisis depend on a keen understanding of the person on the other end of your messages. Customer success best practices have always been built around turning real-time customer information into results-based, goal-driven actions. Those principles are more important than ever during times of crisis.
Your customer success software can help you cut through the uncertainty of crisis management and base your actions on the realities that are facing your customers. By gathering and aggregating a range of real-time customer data, you can start creating solutions based on facts that will help sustain your customers long after the crisis fades.
In these challenging times, you can’t afford to buy before you try. Get started for free today. Explore Spark to discover a comprehensive suite of metrics designed to inform you of the realities facing your customers.