Examples of how to engage and build your customer base during social distancing

Service providers are among the businesses hit hardest by social distancing measures and quarantine, but we have seen many creative ways of maintaining customer connections.

The power of online video, connectivity tools and social media are key, but often when they are used to convey genuine care and generosity towards customers and what our skills and services mean to them.

The following examples have successfully engaged customers during this crisis, but also show attitudes and technologies that will be relevant to how we interact long-term with customers in a digital, connected age.

Below we share some techniques and tools that could work for your services. Share yours with us!


Social media tools for retailers

A little creativity on social media maintains links and conversations with customers, while also generating sales in some cases. Alongside conventional posts and ads, many retailers have used live sessions, events or chats with clients on Facebook or Instagram, or experimented with TikTok.

These sessions help showcase new products or trends, before highlighting that customers can buy online or reserve for an in-store pickup once the quarantine time is over.

The results shows there’s no better time to experiment with innovative approaches that could bring both short and long-lasting results.


Digital education and training

Tutors, personal trainers, therapists and even consultants have embraced virtual services for customers, via video sessions with individuals or groups. Many TIMIFY customers are utilising our new TIMIFY for GoToMeeting app to allow online booking of virtual sessions, mixing free and premium services with content produced exclusively for the current situation.

For further information, please this article: https://blog.timify.com/timify-with-gotomeeting-schedule-video-conferencing/


Consider new audiences

One language school in Italy is not only giving online classes for adults but sending activities and games to entertain kids while their parents are in class. It has led to an uplift in children enrolling for classes. It’s a small example of thinking about groups beyond your usual customers, but also what your skills and resources can do for the changed circumstances of existing customers. 


Broadcasting live

Broadcasting services live isn’t new, but quarantine has fuelled innovation. Sports clubs who never considered online broadcasts are reuniting entire teams at the same times as normal training or matches would have been. Meanwhile special events, like live gigs, lectures or behind-the-scenes venue tours engage customers locked down, but also those who cannot normally attend such events. Use TIMIFY to promote live events for groups in advance, allow customers to register attendance and set maximum number or take payment where necessary.


Catch up sessions

Online classes might not be an option for your business, but can you give one-to-one support to customers in isolation? Financial advisers may not have ventured online before, but now expertise in government support schemes could be invaluable. Or perhaps video chats to continue one-to-one check-ins with staff could be crucial at this time. Simple and informal catch up chats to formal consultations are easily booked online with TIMIFY, and now include video calls and screen sharing, where document sharing could be important.


Screen sharing

TIMIFY’s new video integrations add screen sharing among several features to make virtual sessions more dynamic. As we all become a little weary of seeing contacts sitting at the desk in their bedroom, screen sharing allows you to display a number of formats on screen to your attendees. For business meetings it might be a presentation, but other services might use an online whiteboard, audio-visual material, photos or give demonstrations within a browser or on a phone. Use the tech to make your virtual experience more engaging and useful.


Show off your amazing customers

If you can’t provide services, use social media to show how your products and services continue to give something special to customers. From cyclists using your home equipment to scale virtual mountains to kids proudly showing karate teachers their progress at home, it gives broader audiences a window into how important your services are – not just now, but in normal, daily life. This can boost staff morale, as well as reaffirming to customers how important your business is when things return to normal. 


Be generous and share your expertise

The unprecedented situation has led countless businesses and professionals to momentarily put aside profit and share their expertise to help people. Subscriptions and paywalls have been suspended, experts are giving advice and classes for free and much more. While vital on a human level during the crisis, it will lead to a spike in subscriptions for many businesses once it is over. It reminds us of the merits of using technology to give bold and generous free trials to a wider base, trusting in your awesome services to convince prospects they are worth paying for in future. 


Inspire and encourage return to your services

Tourism has been hit hard by COVID-19, but many firms are using inspiring visual materials on platforms like Instagram to maintain interest. Given uncertain lockdown timelines it might not bring immediate bookings, but many on social media are looking to make uplifting plans for the future. If your services can be similarly inspirational online (we’ve seen nightclubs giving tours of their amazing empty premises which customers never see at crowded events), use TIMIFY to set up discounts and offers for advance bookings with no charges for rescheduling.


These are just some examples of businesses seizing the moment, thinking about increased online audiences and adapting their expertise and services to be relevant.

Seize the moment for your business. Be creative, help your customer community, keep your team motivated. 

We are making our services and software available to help where possible, experiment with them.

Share your booking profile on social media, test virtual video and group sessions, activate offers for easily rescheduled bookings in the future.

Any digital innovations in your services born from this situation will be sure to boost your relevancy in the digital marketplace when things return to normal. 

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Author: TIMIFY

TIMIFY is an online scheduling and resource management software for medium and large businesses. The cloud based software as a service (SaaS) is comprised of an intelligent yet easy to use booking system, with a wide range of customisable features.