Re-Engaging with Customers Post-Lockdown
Millions of businesses across the UK are preparing to re-open their doors for the first time in months. For many, the roadmap out of lockdown will present the first opportunity in over a year to open their business fully, without restrictions. Whilst this is an incredibly positive step, these businesses face a challenge when it comes to re-engaging with customers post-lockdown.
How do you reconnect with customers who may not have thought about your product or brand during lockdown? How do you demonstrate that your product or service is still relevant and serves an important purpose? How do you communicate that your premises are safe? And how do you do all this whilst remaining sympathetic to the ongoing effects of the pandemic?
Here, we share our top tips for re-engaging with customers post-lockdown in order to encourage them back to your business.
1. Engage Customers Now
If you haven’t been communicating with your customers as much as you might have liked during the pandemic, then now’s the time to start. Instead of waiting until your doors open in a few weeks’ time, use this opportunity to rebuild your relationship with your customers. This will ensure that you are front of mind when restrictions are lifted.
It’s important that this messaging isn’t overly ‘salesy’ or pushy, particularly if your product or service isn’t relevant during lockdown. Instead, share content that is relevant to your brand and adds genuine value to your customers’ lives right now. For example, if you’re a gym brand, you could share online workouts designed specifically to prepare your body for a return to the gym when it reopens. What’s more, you could encourage engagement by asking your audience to share their favourite home workouts.
2. Re-evaluate Your Messaging
What resonated with your customers in a pre-COVID world may well no longer be relevant, given the amount of change that has taken place over the last 12 months. Consider what your customer’s pain is now, being mindful of the fact that this may have changed during the pandemic. Once you are clear on this, think about your brand’s purpose, how your product or service helps to alleviate this pain, and adapt your message accordingly. Be aware that public mood is changing constantly so it will be important to be sensitive to this and take the temperature of your audience regularly to avoid any of your comms coming across as ‘tone deaf’.
If your company has been closed during lockdown, it will be vital to reassure customers about the precautions your business is taking to keep them safe when you reopen. Your communications around this should be clear and informative. Share a full breakdown of the safety measures you have in place to provide complete peace of mind before they come into your premises. This messaging should include your policy on the use of face masks and social distancing, as well as information about your cleaning regime and any other new policies you have introduced to ensure your venue is COVID secure. This information should be easy to find for those looking for extra assurance. Add it to your website, share it on social media, in your e-newsletter, and display it in your window.
4. Build Anticipation
Research shows that a large percentage of the population are excited to return, cautiously, to normal life. In fact, a report from the Centre for Economics and Business Research has suggested that Brits are planning on using a large amount of the savings they have built up during lockdown on a spending spree once restrictions are lifted.
Use this excitement to your advantage. Spend this time before reopening reminding your customers what it is that they love about your business to build anticipation for your return. Create tailored content for each of your channels to communicate this messaging in a way that will resonate. For example, you might use Instagram to host a live count-down to reopening, along with sharing ‘throwback’ pictures to your customers enjoying your business pre-lockdown. On Twitter, a much more conversational channel, you might engage your audience by asking them to share their favourite memory of your business.
As people begin to return to normal life you can also use in-person experiences to build this excitement, such as displaying signage on your premises and organising special events for your loyal customers.
5. Keep Your Customers in the Loop
Whilst the Government has set out a loose roadmap to reopening, it’s entirely possible that plans will change as a result of the ever-evolving COVID situation and vaccine roll-out. If this is the case, it’s important to be swift and transparent to your customers about how these changes will impact your service. Customers will be much more tolerant to last-minute changes if you are quick and honest in your communications with them. Ensure all of your team are aligned on this messaging – from social media managers, through to in-store staff – to ensure messaging is consistent across all touch points.
If you’d like support re-engaging with customers post-lockdown, we’d love to chat. You can get in contact with us here.