Keeping Customers Close, Comforted and Connected during the Social Distancing
Social distancing means individuals across society must suppress their hard-wired impulses for human connections. This includes seeking contact with their friends, physically touching others, and socializing in a group. Your business can play a large part of helping your customers deal with social distancing. The following are tips to help you decide how you can best communicate with customers suffering from social isolation.
When you ask people to act in ways that go against their very nature for months on end, there will be repercussions. Here are some concerns expressed by experts:
- People will start to battle with their own impulses and not feel equipped to deal with the situations beyond their immediate control.
- This new degree of social isolation can cause changes in how each person’s quality of sleep, appetite, and mood. It can adversely affect people who are already isolated and/or suffer from anxiety, depression, and other psychological disorders.
- Over time, people will begin to feel more anxious and vulnerable. In response to loneliness, their bodies may begin to produce more of the stress hormone cortisol, which will weaken their immune system.
According to Brigham Young research psychologist Julianne Holt-Lunstad, “Just knowing that you have someone you can count on if needed is enough to dampen some of those [stress] responses even if [that person is] not physically present.” Therefore, we can try these tips for staying connected:
- Use these different technologies to keep in touch. Even though video chat, email, text, and phone calls, won’t provide all nonverbal aspects of communication, they are better than no contact. If possible, aim for video chats.
- Raise public awareness by pointing employees and customers to these tips from the CDC for managing stress, especially related to the many disruptions to our normal schedules.
- Create a balanced lifestyle to counteract the effects of stress and anxiety with these self-care tips from the CDC.
- Encourage people in your social circle to express their feelings, especially what makes them feel alone, so they don’t become overwhelmed.
How Your Business Can Help With Social Isolation
You want your employees, business partners, customers, and other stakeholders to feel supported during this difficult time. Here are ways that you can immediately help target audiences facing prolonged social isolation due to Coronavirus:
- Reach out live to top customers, which is something advisors are doing to calm investors at Savant Capital Management.
- Create e-mail campaigns like Capital One to communicate with each target audience. Consider increasing the frequency of these emails to perform effective outreach.
- Create or join online communities related to your business on social media networks like Spotlight Media.
- Show empathy, compassion, and respect as you address customer problems.
- Follow Barclays and emphasize to your employees that they should focus on spreading stress-relieving information rather than stress-inducing information.
Customers may not remember what your business says in each message, but they will certainly remember how your communications make them feel. Your audiences do not want to feel more stressed out after interacting with your staff or business communications.
As Coronavirus continues to spread, customers will fall into new habits as they adjust to new schedules. If your organization can consistently release information that helps customers to cope well with social pressures, then they will making regular visits to your blog part of their daily routine.
If you become a source of comfort, your customers will reward you with brand loyalty.