Retaining client relationships during COVID-19

As the Government enters into talks about how businesses can start to reopen in the coming months while avoiding a second wave of the virus, businesses across the UK have some big decisions to make. It will be essential to strike the right balance between resuming normal running as quickly as possible while ensuring the safety of both your staff and customers. We take a look at what you can do to ensure that you remain visible, even when you’re unable to operate as usual and to keep both your clients and employees on side.

Uphold your brand values

Every brand should have a core set of values that it embodies in everything that the business does internally and what it puts out to the wider public. During the pandemic, you should continue to uphold these values. For example, if you push customer service as your top priority, you should endeavour to offer support and guidance to your clients. If it’s supporting your local community, you can focus on what people in your business are doing to help their community on your social media channels. Your customers have chosen to align with you for a reason and now isn’t the time to lie on your laurels.

Think outside the box

We’ve recently seen countless examples where retail businesses have drastically changed their business models in order to sustain their service during these times. These have included contactless payments, deliveries, food packages and much more. Not only that, but most offices have also quickly switched from a physical building to facilitating an entirely digital workforce virtually and gyms/personal trainers have taken to leading online workouts from the comfort of their living rooms. While not every business has the option to continue operating during these times, it’s worth considering what you can do in order to keep your business visible over this period.

Value safety first

With this in mind, you should never compromise the safety of your customers or employees in order to carry on running during this time. If it’s necessary for you to halt all operations, then there is support in place from the Government to help keep you and your employees afloat. Studies have already revealed that adults are more likely to buy from brands which have demonstrated that they are taking the necessary safety precautions. If you can’t continue to carry out your service, why not instead work on building and establishing your social media presence and garnering engagement there?

Let them know you care

Once you’ve put the necessary measures in place to protect your clients and employees, you will need to ensure that these are effectively communicated. Share the steps that you have made to protect your customers with them through your social media channels, via an email or even with a personal phone call. Many people will trust a company more if such a message is shared from the company’s CEO and/or founder as this indicates that the risk is being taken extremely seriously. Even if you’ve already put out an official statement when the lockdown the began, as changes begin to unfold in the coming months, ensure to keep your clients in the loop on how these changes will affect them.

Give them alternatives

While it may seem counterproductive, giving your clients alternatives to your service while you cannot operate 100% can actually serve to build trust and gain their loyalty going forward. For bigger restaurant chains, this has involved releasing some of their much-loved recipes such as Ikea’s Swedish Meatballs, McDonald’s Sausage and Egg McMuffin and Wagamama’s Chicken Katsu Curry. For smaller businesses, this could be a greengrocer pointing their customers elsewhere when they’re out of stock or a dog groomer posting online tips on keeping dogs comfortable in the summer months. It just goes to show that your business is passionate about the work it carries out and cares more about the end result for the customer rather than simply making a sale.

Think about what you post

During unprecedented times, it may be tempting to post personal opinions and observations on your business page or share breaking news from any old source. While this may well fit in with your brand, be very careful about what you are sharing and whether it has a wider business purpose. It’s best to save airing your opinions about illegal sunbathers on your personal page and reserve your business page for business and wider industry news along with positive staff updates.

A word from Darwin Clayton

We know that despite all the advice and good intentions in the world, every individual and every business is facing their own battles during this time. It can be extremely hard to stay positive and continue to keep in touch with your customers when you don’t know what the future holds. At Darwin Clayton it is our intention to help you where we can, not only with your insurance but however else we can. If you need to run through your options, amend your policy or something else, please don’t hesitate to get in touch on 01892 511 144.