With the increased need for IT solutions during these uncertain times, tech marketers need to take on a highly visible role in communicating important messages to their customers. But as the COVID-19 crisis causes business priorities to change, knowing what customers want to hear from IT firms can be challenging. “How do we ensure customer relevance and engagement during these unprecedented times?”, is one of the most common questions marketers are asking.
While the answer to that question will be different for every firm, the underlying principle remains the same – keep customers’ best interests at the heart of your communications. Keeping customer needs in mind, here are five broad themes that will guide your communication strategy amidst this uncertainty.
Training and awareness
As businesses cope with disruptions and shifts in business models, there’s an increased reliance on IT solutions to navigate these uncertain times. Educating customers about the best practices to deal with the current operating environment will help them adapt better to the next normal.
For example, cybersecurity organizations should focus on remote etiquette for work-from-home environments. Providers of customer support solutions should deliver information about improving contact center preparedness in the face of increased call volumes and customer anxiety.
Address external considerations
External factors that impact the decision-making of your prospects, such as regulatory changes, should be addressed in your communications. In May 2020, the US government announced increased restrictions on H1B visas presenting new challenges for the IT industry. Soon after, IT firms Infosys and HCL released statements to ward off concerns around the impact this decision would have on their operations.
Similarly, addressing concerns around the impact of changing consumer behavior – for example, increased data consumption during lockdowns – will reinforce your company’s commitment to your customers.
Address IT constraints in maintaining BCP
As digitization and remote work accelerates, it’s important to address pertinent issues in connectivity, access control, data, and security, among others to support decisions around risk management and business continuity. Providing thought leadership on how your firm can help businesses robustly maintain business continuity should, therefore, be an important part of your communications strategy.
Teradata announced that it made its Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) offering available on the cloud to minimize disruptions on customers’ analytic systems. The timely launch and announcement of its offering is a great example of how IT firms should respond to emerging enterprise technology challenges during critical times.
Your pandemic response plan
IT service providers are integral to helping businesses overcome coronavirus-driven disruptions. As such, proactive and continuous communication about the steps your firm is taking to support customers during these times is critical.
With a host of collaboration tools and cloud services under its wing, Microsoft is among the leaders in helping organizations adapt to remote work. The company demonstrates resilience in its blog post, where it says “We are actively monitoring performance and usage trends 24/7 to ensure we are optimizing our services for customers worldwide while accommodating new demand.” From the beginning of the outbreak, the company has consistently communicated about its response plans across key regions, including Austria, UK, and Canada.
Data-driven industry insights
Providing insights into the near and long-term impact of COVID-19 on the sectors you work in will help customers keep up with the transformative changes that lie ahead. This includes explaining the emerging market and technology trends that will affect business strategies. Genuine insights, backed by reliable data and analysis, are key to establishing your firm as a thought leader in your industry.
In this thought leadership article, SAP explains the impact Industry 4.0 will have on the manufacturing industry and how it will help companies overcome the challenges presented by COVID-19. It uses research data from The MPI Group to provide credible insight into the state of Industry 4.0 in the manufacturing industry.
Some tips for communicating with customers effectively during COVID-19
- Share useful information that’s not trying to sell
- Tie in industry trends with your products and services
- Talk about the steps your firm is taking to safeguard employees and maintain business continuity
- Communicate frequently and transparently about policy changes, updates, and outages
- Use reliable data and insights to support your content strategies
Netscribes is a trusted data and insights partner to five of the world’s top 10 IT firms. Drawing upon our research expertise, we offer data-driven perspectives that meet your customers’ unique information and insight needs. Contact us to learn more about how we can help you drive superior content marketing strategies.