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    How to stay close to your customers during the times of crisis?   

    Customer engagement and vendor outreach are both part of business communications but have different approaches. However, one thing both have in common is, the way your company communicates or builds relations with the customers or vendors to gain their trust and loyalty.    

    Given the current global COVID-19 outbreak and a complete lockdown situation, it becomes necessary to run your business without letting your customers lose confidence in you. If you want avoid this critical situation by strategizing your customer engagement and vendor outreach, the right time is now.    

    Customer Engagement  

    It’s rightly said, it takes months to find customers and only seconds to lose them. Your success lies in how your customers talk about your product and service behind your back. And, essentially, adding value and providing solutions to help them grow their business is what interests them. Your customer’s delight lies in when you talk about ‘what’s in for him’.  

    Read on to know a few quick pointers that can help you figure out options you can implement:   

    Setup telephony and routing solutions; don’t miss on any opportunity to serve 

    Setup your telephony well and ensure everybody has a number to reach out to. Be assured, you’re ready with a reliable setup to begin with for your clients and vendors. Setup routing strategies not to miss on any calls.  

    Good telephony solutions will help you to route the calls even after office hours. In these times of anxiety, ensure not to have choke points with long waiting times for your customers.   

     Assure your customers that they have your back 

    Invest in toll-free numbers across remote locations to ease off the panic for your customers. Having a local presence to talk or assist, can help a great deal and make them feel assured of having your service and support whenever required.  

    Introduce Voicebots to innovate the way you communicate 

    Virtual Voice Assistants aka Voicebots can be an excellent provider for first line of communication between the customers and your support for tracking both, issues and tickets. These are AI-powered Voicebots, capable to address the pain areas you might be facing now. 

    Metroleads Voicebot can provide latest updates about the current shipment, progress on the tickets, auto-collects lead information, attends to the calls after work hours, can schedule calls and meetings and so on.  

    Collaborate through video conferencing solutions 

    A recent study says, about 62 million video conferencing apps were downloaded across the world just in one week. This count will surge in coming weeks. Without a doubt, collaboration is the key to drive daily activities. MetroLeads offers MetroMeets – a video conferencing app with some unique features. Now you can easily communicate with your customers, stay connected, and touch base with your teams through MetroMeets.  

    Don’t hard sell, show support

    Get the fact hard-coded that “customer service is still Sales”. Meaning, investing in customer service or after-sales service will help you win more customers through recommendations and mouth publicity. 

    Hence, instead of pitching sales, focus on the high value customers you already have. Be proactive and quick to support your customers. Demonstrate solidarity in these tough times. Such actions will not only help you go long way but also build the trust.  

    Enhance customer experience  

    Work on getting your business “customer experience” online, with minimal inter-personal interactions. Talking of which, Metro Meets offers Teleport – a 3D virtual walk-through service. This brilliant innovation creates one-on-one experience of a site visit in which both parties can meet, share feedback, look at various projects, capture virtual walk-ins, and so on.  

    Educate and orient your customers through frequent blogs / posts 

    Utilize time to reach your target audience by creating and uploading content online. Make maximum use of social media by posting articles / content that’s most relevant to the ongoing times. Try out some creative ideas to connect with your customers such as collaborating over video conferences (Metro Meets), posting articles (as industry expert) suggesting best suitable mechanisms they can count on (just like what we are doing now). Engage with customers on multiple channels. Such an approach will increase recall value.   

    Vendor Outreach   

    Vendors being the third parties to your company, are most likely to be hit than what you may.  As vendors would be the first ones to be chucked out when you roll out cost-cutting plans. To decrease their anxiety levels at such time, try to:    

    Communicate your current work situation with vendors  

    Communicate how your teams are working, plan to interact with them periodically. Share information about your current situation and call out your priorities.   

     Be specific about clearing payments 

    Be transparent with the billing situation as everyone is going through crisis now. Plan your company finances ahead. It will help you to project when and how you will be able to pay-out to the vendors. Request for a substantial credit-period. But set the expectation straight, so that your vendors can plan accordingly.   

     Assure vendors about your interest in continuing business with them 

    Come up with creative ways to help each other out. Again, demonstrate solidarity and bear a positive approach. Assure your vendors that you’re keen on maintaining business relationship now and in future. This will bring about a sense of security amongst the vendors and a hope on which all of us are sustaining on.    

    Lastly, in these odd times, make maximum use of technology to connect with your employees, interact with your customers and vendors, and deliberately plan to engage with them to strengthen the feeling of oneness and unity.     

    Now that we’ve discussed how to empower your business to interact through various channels; the next article will help you to identify innovative ways to get your business online. Stay tuned! 

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