Just because business has slowed (or stopped) due to the COVID-19 crisis doesn’t mean contractors can stop connecting with customers and prospects. In fact, maintaining positive engagement now can stave off project cancellations to position your company so it’s better able to take advantage when the economy starts moving again.
This means you’ll need to be more strategic and creative in how you engage with customers. These are difficult times for many and how you interact with customers needs to reflect that.
Know What You Want
Customer engagement is vital to your company’s success – but what it is varies depending on a company’s goals. So first, figure out what you hope to get from customers. Is it referrals? Social media buzz? Increased website visits? Figuring out your most important goals will guide the rest of your steps.
With those goals in mind, quantify how you’re performing now and strategize where you want to improve. For example, if social media engagement is slacking, you may need to be more active or change the content you share on those platforms. Not getting referrals? Make sure you’ve asked for them.
No matter what kind of customer engagement you’re going after, this unique situation requires a different approach to customer interaction. Across platforms, keep the below tips in mind to stay involved with your customers.
What Customers Want May Have Changed
Look at your current customer outreach tools with a critical eye: are they providing the kinds of information your customers want now? Whether you operate in an area hard-hit by COVID-19, or you’ve had minimal impacts, chances are your customers are re-evaluating what they need.
Website and social media content needs to reflect that shift. Any content or offers that seem rooted in pre-COVID-19 mindsets risk making your company look out of touch. If you don’t have time to overhaul the content, a simple header at the top of a webpage or social media profile acknowledging that the situation is evolving shows you’re paying attention.
Residential contractors benefit from customer word of mouth. Unfortunately, that means one unhappy (and loud) customer can have an outsized impact on your business.
That’s especially worrisome when government-mandated shutdowns and other factors outside your control lead to a less-than-optimal experience. You may not be able to open job sites faster, but you can proactively reach out to customers to let them know what you are doing to minimize the repercussions to them.
In a crisis, everyone wants to help – even if they aren’t always sure how they can. Try to find ways to enlist your customers and prospects in whatever you’re doing. Ask for referrals. Host just-for-fun contests on social media. Did you donate PPE, or buy food for staff at the local hospital? Don’t just promote what you did – suggest ways customers can help you do it again.
Now more than ever, people are looking to connect in positive ways. If you can help them connect – with you and your shared community – you can create powerful engagement that feels good now and benefits your business in the long run.