Adapting Your CRM Practices to Meet the Challenges of COVID-19
As specialists in CRM, with a focus on email, we’re adapting with our clients and watching how brands are responding to COVID-19 in this channel. It’s heartening to see that the overriding response to the crisis is to inform and comfort customers, employees, and partners about the measures brands are taking to keep everyone safe. This should always be the first step.
Once this initial messaging has been successfully deployed, we expect brands to take steps like the following to prepare for the road to recovery:
1. Look for authentic ways for your brand to actively help customers and the community at large.
Some of our clients have already acted: SiriusXM has created a channel dedicated to COVID-19 news; Rakuten Kobo has offered a free e-book for customers in lockdown in Italy; and Primus has waived overage charges for usage-based residential internet customers. And while their products aren’t directly helping to entertain or inform the house-bound, Freshbooks has created a valuable COVID-19 resource guide for the small businesses and freelancers they serve.
2. Pivot your messaging to highlight online services (if possible).
Do you own a brick-and-mortar retail or entertainment business? How do you build and promote virtual or online versions of these experiences? Our client Cineplex has had to close its theatres temporarily, so they have shifted their focus to promoting the Cineplex Store. The Store offers movie rentals and purchases for streaming – a wonderful service for the “socially distanced.”
3. Serve your customers even if your business is “hands on.”
Is your business dependent on up-close-and-personal experiences – for instance, dental, massage therapy, or beauty services? Can you offer customers self-care tips and resources, or video tutorials/consultations to help them through the next few months – and to ensure you’re their preferred provider when things return to normal? This kind of content could even become an additional revenue stream for your business in the “new normal” world.
4. Redirect resources into improving your CRM marketing infrastructure or tools for when things settle.
If your team has any downtime, help them push forward those projects that often get delayed by the everyday: cleaning up or mining your data for opportunities; moving toward becoming AODA and GDPR compliant; mapping out those customer journeys; or performing content audits. A number of our clients have already started making plans for how to return to market when the time is right so they can move quickly to restore their business.
It’s an unsettling time for all of us – but it’s also an opportunity to learn and adapt together.
Chief Strategy Officer