How Manufacturers Can Stay Connected With Customers Through The Coronavirus Outbreak

To limit the coronavirus spread, many companies have gone completely virtual and the workforce in some states is required to stay at home, with the caveat of essential businesses and manufacturers exempt from these mandates. 

Although the world has seen unprecedented changes during the past few weeks, manufacturers and industrial companies need to keep their customers at the center of their business strategy now more than ever. The world we live in is incredibly digital. So for your customers that still have jobs to be done, here’s how you can take advantage of technology and stay connected with them.

Video conference call with customerCreatively Serve Your Customers Through Video

You’re likely already offering phone and email support to your customers, but open up other digital channels to let your customers know you’re able to communicate wherever they are. Consider video conference calls instead of a regular phone call. Webex is offering its video conference tools for free to get you and your company through the pandemic. There are other options like FaceTime, Skype, and RingCentral. The idea is to have your customers get that “face-to-face” feeling without really being there with you. Reaching out to current customers is an important key to managing and promoting your business during an economic downturn.

At Thomas, we’ve implemented the ability for suppliers to share videos of factory tours or company overviews since traveling to facilities will be difficult for the near future — you can even add these to your Thomasnet.com profile. Click here to learn more about how you can increase customer engagement with your business using video content.  

Did you know that 68% of people prefer to learn about a product or service through video? 

Customers love when the content is customized just for them — 39% of executives are more likely to call you after watching that video.

Update Your Website With Your Company’s Response To The Outbreak

In addition to communicating your business’ coronavirus response efforts via traditional methods like an email or phone call, post your company update to your website. Let customers know how you’re keeping your business’ common areas clean, how you’re keeping your employees safe, and how you’ve maintained operations. Has your facility reduced its working hours or has customer service and production remained the same? Elevate that messaging through the use of video and include it on your website. Videos are able to produce a human element many customers need during this time and will help you keep new leads coming in.

See 13 video examples of manufacturing and industrial companies here.

If your production has shifted focus and your company will be using resources toward manufacturing critical equipment like masks, gowns, or components for ventilators, let your customers know. They may also be able to contribute in some way. Even if you aren’t shifting your production efforts or changing your business strategies, it is important you are transparent with your customers on all your communication platforms. 

Increase Your Social Media Presence

Many social media users follow brands and companies they usually do business with, and it is likely they are turning to their social media platforms more to get the latest virus updates.  Consider increasing your social media presence to ensure you’re reaching your customers on more than one platform.

Make sure the messaging that’s in your emails, phone calls, and website is the same content that’s shared to your social media. You’ll need all your content to be clear and aligned to limit any uncertainties your customers may have. 

Update your social media channels to let your connections know you’re still open for business and communicate what you’re doing to respond to the coronavirus outbreak. Record a video showcasing the efficiencies of your shop floor and post it to your Facebook — your customers will appreciate your dedication to the industry. Manufacturing business owners can post on their personal LinkedIn profile, tag their company's profile and encourage employees to "like" and share that post with their network. Consult your industrial marketing team for more inspiration. 

Harvard Business Review recently reported, “When customers are separated from the work that’s being done behind the scenes to serve them, they appreciate the service less and then they value the service less.” The idea is to be transparent, answer common questions your customers will have and open up all modes of communication to them.

Take The Next Steps In Connecting With Your Customers

This is certainly a challenging time for businesses and employees, but it creates opportunities to try creative and innovative ways to keep business running. Incorporating all of these methods together will help you and your customers stay connected. 

  • If your industrial business can support the production of essential supplies needed to combat the COVID-19 outbreak, please complete this form to notify us of your availability and willingness to dedicate resources. Thomas is working with State and Federal Government offices to help mobilize manufacturers to deliver supplies and services. 
  • Complete your free Thomasnet.com profile here to connect with new customers on the platform where more than a million buyers from a variety of industries and geographies source for new products and services.

 

Did you find this useful?

What Manufacturers Need To Know About The Defense Production Act Next Story »

COVID-19 Response Suppliers COVID-19 Response:
Can Your Company Help Provide Critical Supplies?

We are using the power of our platform to aid in the mass shortage of critical supplies. If your company can help provide supplies, capabilities, or materials for products such as N-95 Masks and Tyvek SuitsPlease let us know.

COVID-19 Response Suppliers