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Kate Bould
Communications Manager @ Yotpo
March 18th, 2020

15 Strategies to Engage Your Customers in the Time of COVID-19

As we continue to navigate the uncertainty of the Coronavirus and work to lower the curve, we understand that many of our customers and brands are struggling to find ways to stay active and in touch with their communities.

Table Of Contents

In an effort to help out, we’ve compiled some creative strategies for keeping customers engaged and connected during this time.

As you start thinking about how you can best use these, it’s important to remember that while your business stability may be front of mind for you, many people are facing physical, emotional, and financial strain at this time. Communicate with care, consider how you can help your audience feel valued, and be intentional in your approach.

If you have questions, comments, or other topics you want us to talk about, reach out to us on social at @yotpo. Please treat us as a partner, resource, and connection to the broader eCommerce ecosystem as we move through this critical time together.

Customer Engagement Strategies

1. Set-up a hotline

Show your customers that you’re still here for them. Schedule a block of time where customers can chat or DM you questions about products and services.

2. Reward customers for donating

Select a charity helping those affected by the virus, then add an option to donate as a product in your catalog. When customers “purchase” the donation, you can reward them with exclusive loyalty program perks. On the backend, you can treat each donation like a gift card — someone purchases a dollar amount on the site and, instead of creating a credit, you’ll donate those funds to the organization. If your eCommerce platform doesn’t enable this, ask customers to send photos of donation receipts and manually update their loyalty profiles, or give them a discount code.

3. Video chat with customers

Give your customers some face-time. Show them around the store, do live videos of your products, and answer questions in real time. This can help create an in-store feeling and build trust and assurance during what may feel like an isolated time.

4. Create more payment options

As many people face different financial strain or cash flow issues, consider promoting or adding payment tools like Klarna, Afterpay, or Bread Finance to break up payments for consumers.

5. Go virtual

Have an upcoming event that had to be postponed or canceled? Try a virtual webinar or panel. Recreate the networking component by creating a Slack channel or Facebook group for participants or encouraging questions live via social.

6. Spotlight your reviews

Build trust and transparency by refocusing on reviews for those traditional brick & mortar customers that are now shopping online.

7. Increase the value of loyalty program points

Show your customers you’re just as loyal to them as they are to you, especially in this critical time. Increase the value of their loyalty program points or make redemption options cheaper.

8. Go live on Instagram

Go live on Instagram to answer any questions and help customers who may be concerned about the impact of the Coronavirus.

9. Try free shipping and returns

If you’re able, consider trying out free shipping and returns, enabling customers to get a feel for your products from the comfort of their home.

10. Over-communicate!

Your customers are your community. Let them know how you’re responding to the Coronavirus, if anything has changed about how you’re conducting business, and what health precautions you’re taking. Ask them how you can support them during this time, and let them know how they can support your brand as well. Meet them where they are with updates to your homepage, getting active on your social media, and solutions like SMSBump or Klaviyo.

11. Offer gift cards

If you had to close down shop or have customers that shop on an as-needed basis, offer online gift cards for customers to buy now and use later.

12. Ask for help when you need it

Do you have retail locations you’ve had to close indefinitely? Are you struggling to support an in-store staff who is now out of work? Consider asking your customers to chip in by creating a fund for out-of-work employees — giving consumers an opportunity to come together, get involved, and support your business.

13. Try a percentage giveback with purchase

If you’re financially able, consider giving a percentage of each purchase to an organization working to combat COVID-19. This allows consumers to support the brands they love while also supporting those working to alleviate the impact of the Coronavirus.

14. Deliver without compromise

If you have a local consumer base, try offering free, no-contact deliveries or curbside pickups for your customers.

15. Meet customers for 1:1 appointments

If you’re able, offer in-store appointments to give customers the full experience while still respecting guidelines of the CDC, WHO or other state and local health departments.

Yotpo’s commitment to our community

If you have a Customer Success Manager at Yotpo and want help strategizing, please reach out to them. We’d be happy to help brainstorm additional ways to deepen your customer relationships as we navigate these challenging times together.

To find Yotpo’s response to COVID-19, as well as additional strategies and resources, please visit our COVID-19 Resources page.

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