“Just having satisfied customers isn’t good enough anymore. If you really want a booming business, you have to create raving fans.” – Ken Blanchard
Customer engagement forms a cornerstone of a successful business organization. This fact has always been relevant for as long as people have existed and bought from, sold to, and bartered with each other. Concisely stated, a happy customer equates a booming business with ever-increasing sales figures. On the other hand, an unhappy customer translates into severe losses and possibly the closure of the business; unless it can change the way, it operates to transform unhappy customers into happy customers.
Therefore, the question that begs is, what are the essential requirements to ensure positive, successful customer interactions in the post-COVID-19 era?
COVID-19: Navigating the new normal
Before we answer this question, let’s take a look at the reason why the global corporate world has had to pivot its business operations into an online model; thereby, changing the way the business interacts with its target audience.
The novel coronavirus, COVID-19 has swept and continues to sweep across the globe, resulting in 5.34 infections and 340 607 deaths. One of the only ways to control this virus’s rampant spread is social distancing or social isolation; thus, resulting in the total shutdown of many countries like the USA, UK, Europe, and Japan.
All non-essential businesses have shut down, employees have either been laid off or furloughed. By way of an example of the vastness of the impact of COVID-19 on the global economy, it is worth noting that up to 33 million people in the USA alone have applied for unemployment benefits since the start of this pandemic.
The good news is that the worst of this pandemic has passed for countries like German, France, the UK, Spain, and Italy. And, these countries’ governments are cautiously reopening their economies, allowing people back at work, and allowing children to go back to school. The challenge is that if too many people move around too quickly, there is a high risk that a second wave of the virus will flare up, forcing officials to shut down the country again.
The imperatives of customer interactions in the new normal
Consequently, many people are going to be working remotely, from home, for the foreseeable future. This means that the way employees will interact with customers and potential customers have to change.
Thus, here are 2 imperatives to help your business successfully manage its customer interactions:
Make human connections with your target audience
Jessica Hodkinson, a content strategist, writer, editor, and public relations professional, observed that:
“For… my clients, engagement has been more of a focus. They like to see the numbers, but they also want to know that people are engaging, they’re finding the content useful. I’ve seen one client whose numbers have gone through the roof because they’re answering questions and answering them fast … I do think engagement rates, especially on social, have become more of the focus.”
In summary, customers want to know that brands care about their wellbeing, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Thus, those brands that are harnessing the Engagement Economy, and are interacting with their target audience are finding that their sales numbers are improving rapidly.
Utilize a sales enablement platform
Succinctly stated, a sales enablement platform is designed to facilitate and improve the relationship between a company’s sales staff and its target audience. Its fundamental aim is to effectively move customers through the sales funnel to the process where they make the purchasing decision.
Part of the sales enablement process is to coach sales staff on how to manage the brand’s relationship with its customers in the new normal. Everything has changed; therefore, employees need to pivot the way they engage with customers and management. This platform is constructed to facilitate these relationships effectively while both staff and management work remotely.
Navigating the new normal is going to require enormous changes on the part of management, employees, and customers. Consequently, it is essential for the business organization to utilize resources that will help it improve its business efficiencies and improve its customer relations. Finally, improved customer relations will translate into increased sales and, ultimately, a thriving company.