Knowing how to communicate with customers in times of crisis can be really difficult. At least for some of us. However, there are some key strategies that you should consider to do it effectively. As you know, I usually write about personalized and automated marketing. I do it because it is one of the areas in which I am specialized and it is, of course, what we do it at Pirsonal.
With all this Coronavirus or Covid-19 situation, we are all receiving emails, SMS or other types of messages from the companies that provide us with some type of service. In some cases, it is to give us bad news about the service they provide in the context of the new global crisis, in other cases it is to share some kind of positive and inspiring message in the middle of this crisis.
Be that as it may, it is obvious that it is time to manage this crisis naturally and astutely and see what is the best way to help our clients, leads, employees and stakeholders.
How can we communicate and offer a good customer experience in the midst of a crisis like the Covid-19? In my opinion, one of the keys is to communicate taking into account the particular context of each person and here is where personalized marketing shines. This is easy to say when we talk about a hundred people with whom we can perhaps speak one by one on the phone. But what happens when we talk about hundreds, thousands or hundreds of thousands?
The scenario changes completely. Personalized marketing offers an opportunity to deliver messages that are relevant to the individual, on a one-to-one basis.
Let’s see how to create personalized messages that can help you communicate with your customers in times of crisis.
Set clear communication and business goals
Think about what you want to communicate.
Maybe you have several communication objectives, so maybe you should distribute the information among several personalized messages in a certain period of time within the panorama of the crisis.
Without a clear goal, you can really say what you want, but it won’t be relevant to most of the people you’re targeting. Rather, you are in danger of being seen as frivolous, cold, distant to the context of the audience you are addressing.
For this reason, you should always keep in mind what you want to communicate.
When communicating with customers in times of crisis, on many occasions the message is dictated by your superiors or stakeholders. In fact, it will be usual that you cannot vary the message. This will depend on the corporate culture in which you are immersed.
Re-analyze your audience
Think about how and who they really are. Investigate again. Ask again. Reconnect with a selection of them.
Once you have done this, analyze the information you already had about your audience. Maybe you are lucky to have a CRM with well-organized quality information. You may prefer to export the information in spreadsheets. Maybe you have access to a more sophisticated audience research and customer experience tool. What matters is that you can extract that information and you can analyze it.
Why is it important to analyze this information? Remember, we want to communicate with these people in a time of crisis, uncertainty and even fear. We must strive to know their particular context in order to communicate with them in a personalized, contextualized and relevant way. If you have this information, it’s possible that an augmented buyer persona approach is a better idea.
Therefore, once you have done this, the next step is to create patterns based on the information from your personal research and the information that you already had in your different structured data sources.
Here are some hypothetical pattern ideas:
- People who already owed two months of their monthly payment
- Parents with more than three children
- Customers who have just subscribed to our service
- Clients with more than three months of recurring activity
- Customers who did an upgrade
The patterns can be innumerable, but naturally, you should focus on the most relevant for the type of personalized message you want to send. Each pattern is, in short, a tool to create dynamic elements within the personalized message that you will create. Here you’ll find a few ideas to create personalized marketing emails following these patterns.
Choose the right content format to share a personalized message
You have already chosen clear objectives to communicate a personalized message with your clients in times of crisis. You have defined the information patterns that you will use to create personalized and structured messages for each of them.
The next challenge is choosing the type of content that best connects with them. In many cases, this content must be multimedia. For example, using personalized videos will allow you to connect with the context of each individual, displaying totally personalized information that responds to their needs, wishes, and objections.
Choosing the content format is as important as defining the objectives and the audience. If the format type is not appropriate, as the distribution channel, your strategy will be at risk and your personalized message in times of crisis will not reach the recipient.
Make sure you create personalized messages that are aligned with your individualized target audience. Here you’ll find 6 mistakes you should avoid when creating a personalized marketing campaign.
Remember, communicate with customers in times of crisis. This is vital and not doing it right can literally kill your organization or reputation. Pay attention to every detail to offer a great customer experience, as in the end, we talk about people who have priorities that are most likely not aligned with yours. They must be treated with care, hence the importance of creating personalized messages that speak to their hearts, minds and, in some cases, pockets.