Today, one thing that is talked about all over the world most is none other than Coronavirus (COVID-19). This pandemic is creating a lot of serious implications for people’s health and healthcare services. Not only the health of the people but COVID-19 also badly affects the business sector and the economy of almost all the countries throughout the world.
As per the analysis done by the UN Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA), the COVID-19 pandemic is disrupting global supply chains and international trade. With more than 100 countries closing national borders, the movement of people and tourism flows has come to a closedown. As per the United Nations, the global economy could shrink by almost 1% in 2020 due to this pandemic.
In recent weeks, there has been a significant impact of COVID-19 on financial markets and various industries including travel, tourism, manufacturing, retail, hospitality, etc. For instance, the travel and tourism industry alone accounts for 10% of the global GDP. Due to this pandemic condition, about 50 million jobs are at risk in this industry throughout the world. The closing down of various companies is directly affecting SMEs globally.
Ways Brands Can Keep Up Their Loyalty Amid COVID-19 Shutdowns
Now the question is how brands can maintain loyalty amid COVID-19 shutdowns. Well, at this tough time of crisis, building brand loyalty can make or break a brand. Some of the key factors that make consumers trust a brand include brands focusing on:
1. The Well-Being Of Customers
During COVID-19 shutdowns, where many brands are trying to gain the trust of their consumers, more than 65% of consumers indicated that brands’ actions have a considerable impact on their trust in a particular brand. To build trust amongst consumers in this time of crisis, brands must find out ways how they can help and what actions can be taken that are steadfast with their values and abilities.
Today brands have the opportunity to create strong bonds of trust with their consumers by using data to help determine which actions will have the greatest impact on their employees, consumers, and communities.
2. The Well-Being Of Their Employees
A company showing care and concern for its employees is one of the key reasons consumers trust any particular brand. At times of uncertainty, employees generally look forward to their employers to lead them more than they look to the government and other organizations. More than 50% of consumers trust brands that show their concern towards their employees in the time of crisis. Currently, COVID-19 is the biggest crisis that the whole world is going through. At this time, any change in trust is largely based on how brands treat their employees.
So, what builds loyalty among employees, is perhaps a clear and frequent communication from the company’s side. About 90% of employees who are satisfied with the actions taken during this pandemic situation of COVID-199 believe that their employees are communicating well, which further results in significantly higher levels of trust.
Suggested read: Why You Should Have an Employee Loyalty Program
3. Not Taking Benefit Of The Emergency To Maximize Profits
In this crisis time, the key to alleviating the impact of public health emergencies on businesses is being responsive. Brands must start rethinking their marketing efforts to make them more relevant. One of the key actions that they can take is, instead of thinking about how they can sell more; they must focus on how they can support customers during this tough time. Focusing solely on making profits amid the current COVID-19 situation will create a negative impression on customers which will directly affect brand loyalty.
Offering services or products to people in need of help at this time, instead of taking advantage of the crisis is the best thing companies can do. This will not only create a good impression but will also help businesses to strengthen trust with customers.
Other factors that make consumers trust brands more amid COVID-19 include:
- Brands maintaining reasonable pricing
- Go above and beyond the safety standards and recommendations
- Don’t overreact or underestimate the circumstances
- Giving back to the community, particularly in times of need
- Communicating in a transparent and timely manner
- Representing strong moral principles, such as integrity
- Demonstrating expertise in their industry
- Delivering a message of hope and optimism, etc.
Brands that fail to keep up with the above-mentioned factors, especially if they fail to demonstrate leadership and action by taking care of customers and employees, may put their reputations and trustworthiness at risk.
To address the outbreak and connect with potential customers, businesses can take the help of email marketing campaigns. However, make certain that the messages are not focused only on selling products and services. These campaigns should look helpful to customers. For instance, businesses can focus more on their hygiene and safety measures, safe product delivery services, no price hikes policies and various other things that help build trust amongst customers about the particular brand.
Email marketing in the current environment can be really helpful for brands to build and strengthen trust. Some of its key benefits include:
- Targeted and personalized emails have 75% more chances of customer engagement.
- Data shows customers react more positively to personalized emails than other forms of marketing tactics like telemarketing.
- In email marketing, there is always the possibility for follow-up.
Most activities have been closed down and people are now practising social distancing to avert the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). This is perhaps the toughest time for most brands to connect with their customers.
Almost every organization today is dealing with a slowdown. Building a connection with new customers and maintaining trust with pre-existing ones seems to be a more difficult task than it has been in the recent past. To continue their business during this hard time, brands need to work transparently without thinking solely about profit-making. They need a lot of creativity and skill to ensure that the message of the brand is communicated effectively to the target customers.