Many business owners are grappling with how to engage and retain their customers and prospects in today’s challenging business environment—especially when those customers are dealing with their own struggles and are unable or unwilling to spend money.
We asked entrepreneurs how they are staying connected with customers right now; here’s how they responded:
I’ve been reaching out to five to 10 clients or prospective clients per day and asking questions about how they are faring at this time, how their family is doing, what challenges they are facing, and what successes they are finding. I offer resources or advice whenever I can, as it’s important to show I care. One of the main things I’m offering right now, outside of the norm, are two weekly Zoom calls, open to anyone at no charge, to come on and discuss strategy, possibility and opportunity.
—Ivy Slater, founder, Slater Success Coaching, New York City
Holding live sessions on Instagram Live
I create and sell hand-painted wooden earrings. I have recently been doing weekly do-it-yourself painting projects at home that I broadcast on Instagram Live. During the sessions, my customers can ask me anything. Several customers have messaged me after the live sessions saying they love watching our DIY projects and that they have been getting inspired to work on projects at home.
—Lydia McConnell, founder, Le Chic Miami, Miami
Offering advice and resources
My firm coaches commercial real estate industry professionals. We’ve been offering daily check-in calls, regardless of what level of coaching program they are signed up for. We ask them to share what is working and what their greatest challenges are and provide them with resources to help them move forward. This has tremendously enhanced our client community.
—Rod Santomassimo, founder and president, Massimo Group, Cary, North Carolina
Providing services online
I run an educational publishing company, and I usually support teachers at elementary schools. Because most schools are now closed, I’ve had to engage teachers and parents online. Therefore, I have created free daily literacy calendars, activity books, videos and webinars to support fellow educators and parents.
—Kathryn Starke, founder, Creative Minds Publications, Richmond, Virginia
Engaging through online content
Content has proven to be the most effective solution for us during this pandemic, as many people have more time on their hands and are actively engaging with us on Facebook and Instagram, as well as sharing the articles we post on our blog. Our social media strategy is focused heavily on brand awareness right now and less on sales, because we understand that many people are no longer in a position to buy. So far, our results have been very positive, and we’re getting great feedback from our target audience—many taking the next steps and inquiring about our services.
—Brian Gargone, founder and co-owner, Squeeze Marketing, Charleston, South Carolina
We’ve been sending our users personal updates on the struggles we’ve been facing as a team. This includes discussing financial shortfalls and the recent letting-go of our marketing team. We found that many of our users relate to the hardships, and everyone appreciates the down-to-earth messages, which has driven up our loyalty, brand and Net Promoter Score.
—Neal Taparia, co-founder, Solitaired, New York City
How has your business been engaging customers and prospective customers in the current environment? Share your insights in the comments section below!Print this article
Jay Johnson AIA & Associates
My office and clients are in the LA area . Because of covid I am staying at our home in Carlsbad. I have been meeting with them on Face Time and they are fine with it. I still go to the office when it is really important, but have realized I can spend a lot more time here where it is a lot less crowded and enjoy our ocean view, than being in LA every week. It will be the "new normal".