If you’re looking to learn how to be empathetic to your clients during a crisis then you should pay attention to what we’re about to share with you in this article.
During crises, marketing teams struggle with a lot of challenges with their current and upcoming campaigns. For instance, the COVID-19 has affected the way companies market their products or services.
As people are practicing social distancing and some states enforcing lockdown rules, in-person marketing has become impossible. Well, of course, the coronavirus pandemic has been a blessing in disguise to some businesses and disastrous to some.
For example, Amazon doubled its profit during the pandemic while tens of thousands of small businesses have had to struggle to survive.
Undoubtedly, the COVID-19 pandemic has taught marketers a ton of lessons.
…one of them being empathetic marketing.
Companies that have taken a more empathetic approach to understand customer’s needs and address their concerns genuinely have been able to build strong relationships.
But empathy shouldn’t be outside only. Companies should be empathetic to their employees as well. Keep reading to learn how to do smart and responsible marketing during these challenging times. Note that the tips we’re going to share here will help you during and after the pandemic.
How to Practice Empathetic Marketing During Challenging Times
Remember that different brands encounter different challenges. Nevertheless, most of the tips you’ll find here will help companies of all sizes and types to make an informed decision when planning their campaigns.
Let’s get rolling.
1. Stop the Spread of the Virus by Reducing Physical Interaction
When the coronavirus became a global pandemic, governments had to enforce rules that could help reduce every opportunity that could lead to the spread of the virus, particularly to the most vulnerable people.
This involved putting their countries in lockdown or putting their citizens in quarantine.
Brands have also been asked to minimize the risk of infection when undertaking essential tasks especially when vulnerable groups are involved.
According to a marketing report by Nerdy Writers, 55% of grocery retailers have opted to offer free home-delivery for their products to customers aged over 60 years.
Financial institutions and big companies have reduced the number of people who should be served at any given time and put physical distance stickers on the floor to ensure people comply. E-commerce companies across the globe are offering contactless delivery options to stop physical contact between customers and their delivery staff.
The transport sector has also put health and safety measures to ensure people don’t come in close proximity to each other while traveling.
2. Avoid Taking Advantage of the Pandemic
This doesn’t only apply during Covid-19 but to all challenging times.
To help make deeper emotional connections with your customers, you should focus on the following:
- Communicate: Ensure customers understand what you’re doing in response to the crisis.
For instance, in case you will be forced to close some stores or update company policies, you should let customers know in advance so they are not caught unawares.
- Avoid keeping your customers frightened: While you’re required to update your customers about every approach your brand is taking in response to the crisis, you need to avoid being an alarmist. Observe the language you’re using when communicating with your customers.
- Mind your messaging approach: Your messaging should help to combat or stop the spread of the virus.
For instance, as people are required to self-distance, you should avoid messages that encourage people to stay in close proximity even if that’s how your business operates.
3. Make It Easy for Customers to Reach You
As more people are directed to practice social-distancing, many customers are opting to use other channels to have their questions and concerns addressed.
You should give your customers personal attention and care while addressing their concerns.
Companies in the service and banking sector have been forced to allow their customer service representatives to work remotely.
Other brands have also embraced the use of live chat to offer virtual customer support and consultations. Some have asked their customers to lodge their complaints through the company’s website.
4. Let Customers Know How Your Brand is Helping During a Crisis
People are under lockdown and quarantine. If your brand is doing something that helps them during these challenging times, let your customers know that.
Highlight your support: Application developers have created apps that allow people to hold virtual meetings and collaborate on tasks remotely.
Let customers know what your brand is doing to help them during the pandemic.
Educate them with your content: You see, you don’t need to create products that help people in quarantine to show your support to customers. Another way to be empathetic during a crisis like this one is to create content that educates and entertains them.
5. Adjust Your Product Portfolio to Contribute to Safety
Companies should either make products that customers need during challenging times or adjust their product portfolio to provide goods that contribute to safety.
Currently, some companies have adjusted their product offering to manufacture personal protective equipment and some are producing face masks in large volumes.
A good example of a brand that has adjusted its product portfolio is General Motors. The company has partnered with a US-founded company to make respiratory care products. Some companies in the transport sector are supported by allowing their drivers to transport medicine and other stuff to hospitals and quarantine centers.
This is to help people in quarantine get lifesaving drugs and other basic goods.
6. Switch to Online Channels to Serve Your Customers
People have been urged to stay at home while practicing social-distancing. This means that physical stores and other companies that relied on physical operations have to switch to online channels to serve their customers.
For instance, all workout stations and gyms have been closed. Concerned individuals are now offering online home stay-fit courses to their gym members. Learning institutions have been directed to offer online lessons to students.
Medical providers have adopted telemedicine to attend to their patients.
Empathize With Your Customers During Challenging Times
Instead of marketing themselves and fulfilling their customers’ desires, brands are now focusing on helping and meeting customer needs.
Companies both big and small are looking for ways to contribute to safety and provide maximum support to their customers. This is to show empathy and to make deep emotional connections and build lasting and meaningful a relationship with customers. We hope this article will help you adapt your marketing efforts to everyday challenges and to serve your customers well during times of crisis.