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During COVID-19, Remote Customer Management is More Important Than Ever

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How to Effectively Manage Customer Relationships Remotely with the Right Marketing Services

In-person customer interactions are a pretty major component of most business operations, but since the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to rely heavily on remote customer management.

Social distancing parameters have had different implications for different businesses depending on the industry in which they operate, and technology is playing a leading role in almost every scenario.

eCommerce, teleconferencing, and other digital communications like email and chat are helping businesses maintain customer connections and continue offering consultations or products and services.

Maintaining business continuity has been a top priority during COVID-19, and as we’ve all struggled to get our footing in a world of social distancing, establishing this continuity through basic online interactions and communications has been sufficient.

But now that we’ve moved into the third month of the pandemic and many businesses are continuing to follow social distancing guidelines, we want to discuss a second component to remote customer management that goes beyond direct interactions.

Tracking Customer Behavior and Digital Performance to Provide Better Remote Service

To ensure your business continues to respond to and service your customers effectively, monitoring and tracking specific metrics is critical.

In a non-pandemic world, this type of data helps inform the best ways for your business to communicate and interact with your customers. And ideally, you’re already tracking some if not all of this information.

But during social distancing, these metrics not only become even more important, but can be leveraged in different ways to help your business improve customer relationships when there aren’t any in-person interactions to fall back on.

The bonus is that once things return to some semblance of normally, you’ll be in the driver’s seat for continued success.

How’s Your Website Doing?

Not every company’s website was poised and ready to take on pandemic-level traffic and demand.

B2B technology companies have experienced an influx of help desk tickets and customer service requests as businesses grapple with implementing remote technologies for their employees and customers.

Other companies have had to quickly implement eCommerce capabilities to keep products moving.

And still others have scrambled to add chat features and update website information to keep customers informed during this time.

With those specific adjustments made to accommodate this world of social distancing, what’s next? We recommend paying attention to how your website is performing so you can better respond and better serve your customers – not just now, but in the future.

You should be tracking:

  • How your customers are arriving at your site. Was it through search, from another site, from an ad, or from your social media platform? When you know how people found you, you can more easily capitalize on that information to drive more traffic.
  • What content your customers are engaging with. Once they get to your website, what pages are they viewing and for how long? What content are they clicking on? When you know what content is most interesting to your customers, you can amplify it and help drive their journey through your site.
  • Specific calls-to-action your customers are taking. If your customers download content, fill out a contact form, or make a purchase, you can track their path to making those decisions, and leverage the information they have now provided you to better serve them going forward.

When it comes to remote customer management, the more you can improve your customers’ experience and be present, the more they will engage with you and establish a brand connection that will continue past the pandemic.

And it’s not just about net new customers. Customers who already know you and have engaged with you before will expect your online experience to be an equal representation of the experience you would provide in person.

COVID-19 Equals Communicate, Communicate, Communicate!

We’ve discussed previously that brands shouldn’t “go dark” during the pandemic, but rather find ways to communicate with their customers that show empathy and a pivot toward helpful, educational intentions.

Email correspondence is a great way to retain communications with your customers without overwhelming them, and if you send a newsletter or monthly email, track their engagement with your content to better understand what messages are resonating (or not).

You should be tracking:

  • Open rates. How many emails were opened? Who opened them? If you have a low open rate, be aware of whether it’s associated with a specific type of content and make adjustments to increase opens with your next send.
  • Click-through rate. Did recipients click on your email’s call-to-action to view content, visit your site, or initiate a download? If so, you can now use that information to track their behavior and follow up with a relevant communication to keep them engaged.

Your content shouldn’t be focused on your brand or making a sale, but on your customers. Educational information or purchase discounts can go a long way during this time, and the more you know about your customers and their behavior, the more accurately you can serve them up content that they’ll appreciate right now.

Social Distancing Has Created a Social Media Boom

People are home, and whether they’re working remotely or simply weathering the pandemic until they can return to work, social media has offered a sizable escape.

If your company is already active on social, COVID-19 has presented a perfect opportunity to engage with your followers, whether by providing customer-centric updates about your business (hours, eCommerce opportunities, product sales, etc.), adding some levity with memes, or providing educational content.

During COVID-19, tracking engagement is useful to understand how your social media content is resonating with your audience. Respond to comments, offer helpful information, and engage with new followers. Steps you take now will pay dividends in the long run.

Technology is obviously a huge player in everyone’s ability to manage the pandemic, but companies should remember that phone calls can go a long way too. As we all find ourselves Face Timing and having phone conversations with our friends and family in lieu of just texting, businesses can capitalize on the same methods.

When in-person interactions aren’t possible, making your business available to your customers via phone can go a long way in reinforcing their loyalty and demonstrating company’s empathy and awareness during this time.

Plus, given the much more personalized nature of a phone call, your company is poised to establish more meaningful relationships with your customers this way, which will only elevate your customer service post-pandemic.

Fishnet Media works with companies in diverse industries to track user behaviors, digital performance metrics, and other online activities to ensure they are reaching their customers in the right ways.

During COVID-19, we have taken specific steps to help our clients maintain these customer relationships remotely, and position them for greater success after the pandemic.

If you would like to implement stronger remote customer management tools and tactics, contact us today.