​As the number of coronavirus cases across the globe surge, all businesses face the same challenge - keeping their customers engaged. In-store traffic is gone for brick-and-mortar businesses as customers prefer to self-quarantine voluntarily or are mandated to do so. At the same time, there are traffic dips online too because the future seems uncertain. It is natural for business owners to be apprehensive about the impact of COVID-19. However, with careful adherence to social distancing, we will hopefully be able to beat the virus soon. Meanwhile, you just need to hold on and find some innovative ways to stay connected and engage the customers through this tough stage. Remember, marketing and communication is even more important in times like these because a brand that doesn’t invest in this now risks at becoming invisible in the future by losing client engagement and trust. So here are some of the ways teams across the business can keep the customer engaged during these testing times.

Don’t sell: This is the time when no one will probably be interested in buying (except for the essentials). So, the last thing you should focus on is selling. Any kind of communication should refrain from a sales tone; rather, you should focus on telling them that you are concerned about their wellbeing

Add value: Engaging your customers during a crisis is all about adding value in any way you can. For example, you can offer a discount or a gift card if you want them to buy. Free home delivery, if its relevant to your market is also a good idea. Just passing on a valuable piece of information like safety tips against coronavirus or tips to improve the business in the current market is a good way to show that you care.

Understand the problem: Being empathetic is the key when it comes to winning and retaining the trust of your customers. Offering virtual services helps; for instance, education-related brands can go the extra mile by offering a virtual art and craft tutorial for children as handling kids is the problem for parents working from home today. You will address a problem and give them reasons to come back when things get normal once again.

Be supportive: Such troubled times are the opportunity to win the trust of your customers. Support them in every way you can; motivate them via positive social posts and emails. Proactive communication is important to keep them reassured and is something you must invest in.

We are all in it together: Remember that this is a global threat, something that everyone is battling right now. Your customers will probably be as concerned about their customers as you are about them. Offer support and express the commitment to be one as we all fight against this pandemic.

And finally, go the extra mile to spread positivity and optimism because the human race has been through crises before and emerged victorious every time. Think beyond just engaging the customers but about building deep, long-lasting relationships with them. If you can do it now, you will win them forever!