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How the pandemic changed the way brands communicate with customers

by | May 20, 2022 | Public Relations

Now that the pandemic has hopefully passed and we’re all feeling a little more optimistic about the future, it’s time to look at post-pandemic brand communication and what has changed in the way brands communicate with customers.

Consumers expect companies to respond quickly, or else they’ll go elsewhere—and fast in this day and age. Brands need to be ready at all times with an answer for every question their customers might have.

Brands are also communicating differently now than they used to. Gone are the days of one-sided communication; brands are trying to foster two-way conversations with their customers. They do this by listening carefully and responding when someone reaches out to them on social media or elsewhere online.

It is essential to monitor technology trends and understand how people use it to interact with each other. The pandemic has resulted in a sizeable increase in digital consumption, so digital platforms are now the primary channels for brand communication. A new reality in customer communication will remain even after the pandemic, meaning brands need to adapt their communication methods accordingly.

Customer relationships and authenticity are more important than ever

According to HubSpot, 86 percent of consumers will prefer an authentic and honest brand in the future.

Post-pandemic brands have changed their communication strategy to focus on retention and long-term relationships with customers, switching from a product/service-centric approach to a customer-centric approach.

Brands are investing in trust, value, inclusivity, and purpose. It is not just about selling anymore but also humanizing your brand and building an emotional connection with consumers.

Today, content is carefully crafted with the customer at the forefront. Brands have shifted from creating content from a strictly promotional agenda to publishing and communicating about topics that will impact their customer’s life. Brands are also creating content to position themselves as trusted sources of information.

But in a post-pandemic world, where the world as a whole turned digital and hybrid working is the new normal, it’s sometimes hard to know what content to create and how to accomplish two goals at once: help build your brand while also providing value to your customers.

It is critical to leverage rank tracking software when starting with your content research. Using this type of tool lets you know where your competition is ranking on search engines and how to build customized content to provide meaningful content for your target audience while also outranking your competition.

Once you have an established database of quality content, your customer list will start to grow exponentially. Remember, a solid customer relationship is essential in post-pandemic communication. A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tool helps you stay connected with your customers, understand their needs, and keep track of critical information such as recent purchases and sales orders. It also makes it easier to provide excellent customer service by giving you access to various functions such as live chat, email marketing, and social media marketing.

Customers want brands they can trust—and that’s what you should be focusing on right now: building relationships through honesty, transparency, authenticity, and good customer service.

Personalized customer experiences are a top priority

Customers are interacting with brands via digital channels more than ever before, with websites and social media platforms holding the top spot for digital interactions. Post-pandemic customers don’t want to feel overwhelmed by too many messages; they expect personalization and customization to engage meaningfully with brands.

Seventy-three percent of consumers prefer brands that personalize the digital experience. To use customer information to help personalize interactions, you first need a comprehensive data policy that is transparent about how customer data is collected and used on your website.

However, creating a privacy policy can be challenging to do because of all the different data laws you must follow. For example, the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) regulates data protection and privacy in the European Union and European Economic Area.

Keeping track of all the moving pieces can get overwhelming, resulting in compliance or other regulations falling through the cracks. Using a privacy policy generator is critical to saving yourself time, effort, and maybe even a lawsuit.

Establishing a privacy policy will allow your users to feel more comfortable and in control of how their data is gathered and utilized. Complying with data laws will not only protect your brand but also your dedication to transparency to your client’s privacy.

Customer service needs to be quick and painless

As the pandemic wanes and we move into a new, post-pandemic normal, customer service is of utmost importance for all brands. One upside to the pandemic is that it highlights specific issues with how brands communicate with customers pre-pandemic. It forced many companies to reevaluate their customer service and try something different.

To be successful in 2022 and beyond, you need to invest in resources that help offer better customer service and ensure customers feel heard when they reach out about an issue or concern.

Ninety-three percent of customer service teams say customers have higher expectations than before COVID, and 90 percent of consumers expect organizations to have at least an online portal for customer service.

As consumers increasingly interact with brands and stores via digital channels, they expect 24/7 support. Design and install a live chat feature into your website or maybe even introduce the option for customers to text you directly for around-the-clock support. When a customer is trying to solve a problem on your site, it can turn them away if they don’t get quick help.

​​Post-pandemic, more businesses are using “chatbots,” a form of artificial intelligence that can answer basic questions that do not require human assistance. Some chatbots are getting smarter as AI technology improves and learns the ability to personalize responses, which is equally as crucial as discussed earlier.

Gone are the days of spending many frustrating hours on the phone waiting for the proper customer service agent to pick up the other line.

Post-pandemic bran communication with customers needs to be instantaneous. If they cannot get the help they want, they will likely leave, tell their friends and family about their bad experience, and never purchase from your brand again.

Wrapping up

The new digital era where brands are reaching out to customers through social media, sending personal emails, and providing 24/7 online service are all thanks to the changes in the way brands communicate with customers post-pandemic.

The old ways of mass-marketing through big-budget campaigns have fallen by the wayside, and now brands are looking forward to genuine relationships with their customers. With a bit of time and effort, you can adapt to these new post-pandemic brand communication strategies, improve the overall customer experience, and grow your businesses to new heights.

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Jeremy Moser
Jeremy is co-founder & CEO at uSERP, a digital PR and SEO agency working with brands like Monday, ActiveCampaign, Hotjar, and more. He also buys and builds SaaS companies like Wordable.io and writes for publications like Entrepreneur and Search Engine Journal.

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