Your business model probably looks quite different from last January. From cutbacks, expansions and pivots, the coronavirus crisis has required companies to quickly adjust. That includes how you connect with current and prospective clients. Even when it can’t be face-to-face, there are still plenty of options. We are all hoping for a bright 2021 and it can start with embracing new ways to engage with clients safely.
Touch base with clients
Clients need to hear from you without a pitch. The new year is a perfect time to check in, understand if priorities have shifted and offer your help. This is different from driving a sale and shows you care how they are coping with everything. If individual calls or emails aren’t feasible, consider a survey or an email to your different customer segments. This will help you develop a communications plan aligned to client needs.
Tailor your communications
Even with in-person meetings taken out of the marketing mix for now, there are plenty of other channels to leverage. Think about your clients’ preferred methods of communication before developing your plan. Do they prefer email, instant messenger, text or phone calls? Do they engage on social channels? If you’re trying to stay top of mind, you can write an in-depth article or blog post to showcase your thought leadership. If appropriate, secure some client quotes to feature. Your article provides a great reason to email clients. Go a step further and promote it on LinkedIn. While it can be intimidating, another option is to record a video on LinkedIn so clients and prospects can hear from you. Don’t worry if it’s not professional grade, just let your personality (and expertise!) shine through.
Determine the right frequency
Once you’ve identified preferred channels and newsworthy content, then plan your frequency. Keep in mind, you can always create something newsworthy. For instance, highlighting certain employees, charitable work your company is doing or how you’ve pivoted to address client needs. Keep your plan flexible and adjust the frequency if you see people disengage. You want to stay top of mind without turning people off.
People are CRAVING connection. Explore creative ways to fill that void and you’ll be remembered forever. Instead of business lunches, schedule a virtual lunch where you send a gift card to a local restaurant or food delivery service. If your clients are local, invite them to a BYOC (bring your own chair) socially distanced happy hour. If you used to meet for coffee, send them a coffee shop gift card and schedule a coffee call. Zoom fatigue is very real so don’t always make that the default option.
With two vaccines rolling out, start developing your post-COVID strategy now. Plan how your business will connect with clients during the various stages: high, moderate, low and no restrictions. When we reach herd immunity, will you do something special to celebrate? Our country has lost so many to this hideous disease, so be sure anything planned is respectful and aligned with your brand.
MidwestHR is a leading CPEO in Illinois (certified professional employer organization). For over 20 years clients have counted on our team of experts to manage all or part of their HR functions including payroll and tax administration, benefits management, workers’ compensation, risk management and more. We manage your HR and provide coaching support for your most challenging HR situations. Give us a call at 630-836-3000
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