In early 2020, when people were scrambling to make sense of what’s happening and businesses were trying to keep themselves afloat, we community managers received a plethora of comments and messages that reflected these anxieties across all the brands we handled. It was a pretty intense time for everyone, to say the least.
Things are looking far from over, but luckily, there’s something to be learned from every challenge. Here are some lessons we learned from managing communities on social media in the middle of a pandemic.
1. Communicating with your customers is more important than ever in a time of crisis, so respond to your customers timely
Let’s just say that all brands were in a sort of crisis management mode during the start of the pandemic. Most businesses were trying to figure out their next move while trying to stay afloat, and customers were looking for answers on how their favourite products and services would be affected, especially if they were essential goods.
Without a doubt, the pandemic changed the structure of customer experience, from how they shop to how they engaged with brands. This abrupt shift caused customers to demand support more than ever before.
We placed effective communication and timely delivery as our top priorities and doubled down on our community management efforts. We also worked with brands in creating more streamlined customer communications, and as a result, we were able to ease customers’ anxiety and make them feel like the brand was there for them during a tough time. Most of them showed gratitude for the service they received, which once again proves that great community management makes customers’ lives better (especially in the middle of a global pandemic).
2. You can provide excellent community management while working from anywhere
If you’ve got Wi-Fi and an organised community management system, you can pretty much do this job from anywhere. When the pandemic forced everyone to embrace the WFH lifestyle, we community managers found it easier to adapt, compared to other industries, because all the work we do is online and our boss is the customer so we technically don’t have to go to an office to work. We channelled this positive energy into supporting customers who are ‘trapped at home’ by catering to their emotional needs.
We also focused on creating clear communication channels with our clients in case we need to flag anything to make our process smoother.
3. Clearly communicate with your team to provide a unified brand messaging
Because of the complicated state that the world is in, brands are required to adapt and make changes to their operations and marketing messaging almost every week. The constant shift made room for a lot of internal miscommunication (and subsequently, external confusion) to take place.
We made sure that the information we were telling customers was always up-to-date and approved by the team, to prevent mixed messaging which can cause confusion within the community (the last thing you want!). It was important to have the brand’s unified COVID-19 response ready as inboxes were piling up with the same concerns.
4. Be transparent with your customers and empathise with their struggles
During the offset of the pandemic, businesses had to make some tough decisions that would affect their customers. However bad the circumstances were, they needed to be transparent in order to keep their customers’ trust and loyalty. Customers valued transparency more than ever.
We provided customers with the information they needed to understand the situation fully, while also empathising with them if the information caused them any inconveniences. In these uncertain times, the last thing anyone needs is more conflict, so the best way to support your customer is to be transparent and understanding.
If you need help communicating with your customers during a global shutdown, we’ve got you covered. Our community managers are experienced in guiding communities and brands through times of crisis. Want to learn more? Chat with us today.