While effective communication has always defined enduring relationships, it cannot be refuted that COVID-19 has possibly permanently altered customers’ expectations of service delivery. Catering to customer convenience has made the need to radically revamp our modes and channels of engagement today. It is important to:
- keep it simple
- keep it sincere
- keep it relevant to what matters now
- keep it flowing (two-way)
While we are dealing with life during a pandemic, customers will get accustomed to the current level accommodation of their information needs. It would not be effective to revert to old methods of communication in a post Covid world. Therefore, we curated useful tips from communications professionals that can help you craft your strategy for the coming months to strengthen customer engagement:
Determine customers immediate needs: A deferment? Easier terms? Updated information? Customers’ immediate needs should be front and center in all your communications. Remember if you’re sowing the seeds of trust, your aim is to be responsive to these needs and communicate how you are doing so.
Listen to their problems: The environment is extremely fluid and customers challenges will change from month to month, so consciously maintaining a posture of listening will ensure that your utility remains abreast with customers’ needs.
Revisit and revamp your communications strategy: This implies that every aspect of your current communications plan, should be adjusted as necessary, to be relevant now, and post-COVID. Nicholas Adams, president and CEO of NINICO Communications advises:
- Get a crisis communications plan in place, if you don’t already have one.
- Ensure all press releases are important, timely or provide a public benefit.
- Reassess your advertising/messaging strategy.
- Connect with your audience in real-time.
- Update your website.
- Stay engaged through social media channels.
- Write thought leadership pieces.
- Do something to support your community.