Owning a B2B company during a crazy year is stressful, but showing customers that your brand is honest and empathetic will nurture loyalty.
It’s no secret that 2020 has been one of the most chaotic years most of us have experienced, it feels virtually impossible to live life or conduct business as usual. Consequently, many companies struggle to know what to say to customers or how to salvage business plans. It's important — now more than ever — to show your customers and your target audience your human side. That personal touch can help maintain relationships through challenging seasons, including the rest of this unprecedented year and beyond.
That's why it's critical to pivot customer communications, not cease it. Be willing to offer transparency and honesty; this will help acclimate consumers' expectations and build trust. Your customers want to know your plans for handling difficult situations and be ensured that they are still your priority. We are all human — B2B buyers and B2B business owners — look for ways to unite on that commonality.
Connect with Your Audience
It's easier for businesses to step back from customer communications when things are tough instead of taking the time to figure out how to adjust it. However, this is the most crucial time to stay in touch. Studies show that customers are more willing to be flexible if they feel they're kept in the loop — even B2B businesses that depend on parts, products, supply chains, shipping, and delivery services.
In challenging times, it's important to communicate how your business plans to navigate the trouble waters and what’s being done to keep orders moving and production up. When customers are aware of business struggles through extenuating or unprecedented situations, they’re more empathetic, making them more willing to put up with extended wait times, backlogs, procedures changes, and even price increases.
Honesty and accessibility can help build and maintain relationships with customers — the type of relationships that can weather the toughest of storms.
Find Your Brand Voice
By defining your brand identity — tone, language, image, font structure, colors, and more — you have a solid foundation on which to craft a clear and consistent message that represents your company and resonates with your customers. When these pieces work together, you create a human element that sets expectations and offers connectivity.
Staying true to your brand identity and creating cohesive messaging across all communications (website, email, social media, video, etc.) builds critical associations for your customers and helps to establish authority. Making it easy and natural for customers to relate to your company will help them feel connected and invested.
Once you have established how you want to get your message across, you can work on what you want to say and why your B2B audience needs to hear it.
Personalize Your Messaging
Your content should focus on your customers and what's useful to them. Figure out how you can provide value for your customers and then act on it.
Also, find ways to inform and educate your customers. Let them know how your company is handling certain situations by providing as much information as you can. Every touchpoint you offer to your audience helps them feel more connected to your brand — and humanness.
All humans, regardless of role or duty, want to feel important and included — so, adding a personal touch to your messaging will help build customer delight and loyalty.
Utilize Your Communications Resources
Utilize existing communication methods — things like your social media channels, blog, and emails.
Social media is a great way to establish a strong relationship with your customer base because of the relevant content and personal engagement. As a brand, you can share updates as they happen and provide customer support.
Your blog can be updated to include content with more value for your audience. Utilize this tool to answer the questions your customers frequently ask and provide resources that can be helpful.
When it comes to communicating with your customers, email is a great way to provide information while not being in their faces all the time. Being accessible and providing resources for your already existing customers helps keep them connected to your brand. It’s important to nurture the relationships that already exist, not just create new ones.
Another effective way to maintain communication is through automation, like chatbots or instant emails. Automation is great for managing customer relationships in an efficient and customizable way. According to a study, 80% of consumers say they are more likely to do business with a company that responds quickly and incorporates personalization.
Show Your Human Side
Connecting with your B2B customers on a personal level will help strengthen relationships. By keeping in contact with your customers and providing honest and timely communication, you can successfully navigate the challenging season in business without significantly impacting your relationships with clients.
We are all human, and it’s ok to show it.
Let us help you build a strong foundation for your brand to stand on. Check out our positioning framework workbook and let’s work together to strengthen your marketing efforts.