It's been a while since I've posted on my blog, well I have them in draft, but a phone call yesterday made me want to reach out to The Golden Apron Tribe and do my part during this time of uncertainty.
Even though Covid-19 has thrown us all for a loop, now more than ever we are seeing the value of our customers, clients and guests and losing them is something most weren't prepared for. I mean our livelihood is potentially under attack and I hope this blog will help to ease the blow when the pandemic mulls over.
All week my inbox has been completely flooded with email subjects starting with COVID-19. There's no way I can read every single one of them and to be honest I only scrolled through a few. Email, of course is a useful communication method but at this point, there are so many that maybe most customers won't open most of them.
So I wanted to provide some newer and more effective methods to help you to stay close to your customers so that your message is received, COVID or not. Let's take a look.
1. Call them
Can you believe that the phone call is almost obsolete, but just like all good things, it's making a come back and you can be at the fore-front starting now. Yesterday, I saw a US number ringing my Apple 7 but was expecting it to be someone from Neil Patel's marketing company so I answered. It wasn't. It was an advisor from Driven Inc checking to see if I had gotten the information needed to log into their portal and facebook group for the More Than Ok Club- a facebook group to support businesses during this trying time. I had totally forgotten that it had started this week and even forgot the name of the group. But I did want to participate because I had seen the owner live and she's just incredible. That phone call triggered emotion in me, enough to take action and I'm even already caught up with the modules. So it got me thinking what a great idea, especially now when people are practising social and physical distancing.
So, take the time now and call each and every one of your clients if you can. It might mean more than you know. Lots of people have never been home for this length of time and they might be having a challenging time staying occupied. Some people like myself do not have much family for support so a call might be more than appreciated and it definitely beats email.
2. Text Them
If in the past you had texted your clients, that may be their preferred way of communicating. It's definitely faster and easier than an email. And if you don't have their phone number, you should. lol. You should be collecting everything possible about your clients including date of birth, where you met, how they found you, their interests and custom notes based on your business. If you need something to help you with this, feel free to reach out to me, you have the time now :)
Whats App is another text tool that is growing popularity and Whats App for business is a real thing. It helps you to show off your services and easily connect with customers. I actually whats app a few of my clients from my personal account and that works just fine.
3. DM Them
I wasn't a fan of social media until Instagram launched, it was love at first post. l communicate with most of my clients on IG so its fitting to use that medium to reach out to say hello and ask how they are doing now. With clients in other countries, it's especially awesome to find out how those governments are responding and the steps they are taking to protect their residents. (Come on Canada, we need to get more aggressive so it ends sooner). If Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn is your thing, then jump in your DM's and send your clients a friendly and sincere message.
When I get a new client, my best practice is to scour the internet for all their social media handles to update their client card with, it's one of my favs when on-boarding someone to TGA family so that in times like these, it's super easy to find their information. If you need any help with this, feel free to reach out, client management is sorta my jam.
4. Gift Them
When I tell you that I love giving gifts, I simply refuse to show up at anyone's party or event empty handed. I even started my own gifting service just for businesses whimsically coined The Golden Gifts.
Sending a small gift or thank you note to show your clients appreciation for their support thus far in the year can move mountains in your business. Just think, have you received anything at all in the mail in the last couple of weeks. No-one is doing this and it really doesn't have to be pricey. Maybe you didn't get around to send a gift during the holidays last year, maybe you forgot a birthday or maybe you forgot a thank you after a purchased service. Maybe now would be a great time to revamp your gifting strategy.
My next blog will be about this, I got you! No need to even go all out. A small card with a thoughtfully hand written note can really touch your customers and help their confidence in knowing why they chose your business.
I notice a lot of companies extending their services for free for business to not only get an opportunity to sample their offering but as a way to show support as we come together to fight this thing. I pray and hope that this is sincere and not a marketing thing in hopes that you pay for the service after the freeness goes away. But heck, if you like it and it makes sense for your business, get it. I have a long list of those company freebies. Message me and I will send it to you.
One gift idea that is sure to stand out is a mini hand sanitizer with a note saying
5. Surprise Them
If you have a ton of clients, congratulations! So the above points might not be feasible to manage individually. Creating a heart felt video might be another clever way to send a strong message of care and concern for your clients. Get dolled up, go behind the camera (something I've personally been struggling with) and record a message, it's up to you what you decide to say. I just stumbled across Loom as I promised
myself for the umpteenth time to record a mini IG series for on business organization. Its a video recording app founded my Instagram co-founders and it already looks super cool. Unfortunately, email would probably be the best way to send this video but again I don't see companies doing this, so you would still shine bright. Get ready to show those pearly whites.
What To Do & What to Say
But Shauna, what do I say in these messages and notes? I am no expert on this part but I have friends that are awesome at this and here's what they suggest:
1. If you haven't done so yet, let clients know what's gonna happen to any ongoing services. If you had a meet-up, move it online if possible and you provide all the info for them. Always think about how easy you can make the process.
2. You could also use this call to also follow up on past services, in my blog about following up with customers, I talk about the effectiveness of asking your customers how the service was and if they needed anything to make their experience better.
2. Check up on them to see how they are doing in this time. If you have a good relationship with your clients ( you should), have a heart to heart about the effects of COVID on your business and ask them about the effects on their business, jobs and family.
3. If you offer a service that's useful during this time (online life coaching, online meditation, online anything), maybe offer a free 30 minute session to help ease the blow of a potential layoff. My heart goes out to those affected. Check your inventory of what you have that can help your clients now. I have been helping some clients that didn't have the time before to give their client data a complete overhaul and scrub. They had invoices all over the place and their services needed some fine-tuning. Since my services usually need some time to learn the software, for me it's a perfect time to extend my offerings. My free trial of 14 days is now 30 days. I pray this will end soon and life can go back to "normal".
Let me know which one of these you plan to do. We can set up a Zoom call and I'll help you decide. I find it easier to talk out my ideas.
I really hope this helps and try to stay out of the news, my hubs is a news junkie so I don't indulge much, he fills me in. Stay safe, stay healthy, stay washed up and please stay positive.
Hello, thanks for stopping by, learn more about why I love client experience and truly believes it matters most for your business to be successful.
Thank you for reading my post. If one of my tips make you say ooh, go ahead and comment below. Can't wait to hear from you.