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How to Stay Connected to Customers While Employees Work from Home – Six Tips

Can your remote teams stay connected to customers while they work from home during the coronavirus outbreak? The answer is a resounding yes when you pair the right tools with digital campaigns that strike the right tone with consumers. But make no mistake, it requires research and a solid plan of action.

Consumers are facing difficult challenges and, in many cases, an uncertain future. With a compassionate, consistent approach to service and messaging, you’ll reassure your customers and inspire confidence.

Consider implementing these six ideas into your communications plan to build strong, lasting connections with your clients and customers.

1. Provide a Unified Approach to All Communications

Customers turn to your business for answers, and the closure of a physical business location should not lessen the customer experience. Provide your team with the tools necessary to meet and exceed expectations. Equip remote employees with an easy to use VoIP phone system and unified communications. Then, set clear messaging guidelines. McKinsey & Company lists three critical points for customer engagement during the coronavirus pandemic:

  1. Transparency
  2. Customer protection
  3. Customer outreach

Address client questions with FAQ pages and social media updates. Keep your employees informed by sharing updates on your team communications platform or via weekly video conferences. Plus, keep it professional by ensuring every outgoing phone call or message comes from a business account.

2. Tailor Your Messaging to Your Customer and Current Events

Many companies adjust their content during an emergency to avoid appearing insensitive. A recent study finds, “There are 27.4% fewer images and video ads that display models kissing, hugging, holding hands, shaking hands, or touching.” Showing social distancing or promoting other healthy options is a great way to connect with customers.

Start by:

  • Talking to your sales, marketing, and customer service teams. Are customers or leads asking different questions than before the coronavirus outbreak? Create and distribute talking points to properly and consistently answer these questions.
  • Reviewing your ongoing campaigns. Do you need to adjust images, text, or videos to mirror your clients’ current situation? If it’s too expensive to make these changes, consider pausing or replacing them.

Consider making small changes in your communications. It’s important to address pain points that may be quite different from just a few short weeks ago. Help your employees identify new concerns. Then, set up a meeting to brainstorm ways to quickly pivot your messaging towards creative solutions.

3. Offer Your Services Remotely

Many people are craving face-to-face experiences right now. They’re missing workplace connections and social outings. Look for innovative ways to sell or showcase your services online. Businesses are doing this in many different ways, including:

  • Screen sharing sessions to walk prospects through a product demonstration.
  • Online classes that demonstrate “how-to” with your various products and services.
  • One-on-one or group chat and video coaching sessions.
  • A remote cooking class that shows how to make one of your restaurant’s meals.

4. Engage Customers on Your Social Channels

Encourage customers and employees to stay connected on social media. But, don’t share a constant stream of overly promotional posts. Instead, design content that increases interaction and supports your customers’ needs.

For example:

  • Create a positive theme for the week and ask followers to comment on your post with their favorite photo or video.
  • Share a daily poll that fits with your messaging yet encourages, inspires, or educates your clients.
  • Ask your remote teams to produce a 30-second video showcasing their home office or work sanitizing efforts.
  • Announce a limited time offer by going live on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, or Twitter.
  • Host a giveaway on your social channels that encourages followers to share your post for a chance to win your product or service.

Since many of your customers are also working from home, you may see an increase in social media messaging. Make sure your remote team can access and respond to incoming social media messages. Don’t forget to ask employees who are working from home to pass along valuable insights to other team members through your group chat rooms.

5. Host an Online Event

Let’s face it. People are losing track of days, and schedules can be out of sorts right now. Give your customers something to look forward to with an online event.

Consider adding:

  • One-on-one chats with members of your sales team.
  • Hourly giveaways with swag that’s lightweight and easy to mail.
  • Real-time question and answer sessions.

6. Ensure Customer Experience Stays a Top Priority

In uncertain times, people crave consistency. Any lax in service, like long wait times, hurts the customer experience. Prove your trustworthiness and avoid a disconnect by using unified communications.

Help customers stay connected by:

  • Routing calls to the best person for their needs.
  • Offering multiple messaging options to suit your client’s lifestyle.
  • Providing fast responses to all communications.
  • Suggesting video conferences to assist with the decision-making or trouble-shooting process.

Stay Connected and Build Strong Customer Relationships

Keep the lines of communication open between customers and employees during an emergency. Your clients rely on your services and support. With the right tools, your employees can stay connected and reply to customers with confidence.