We know it’s not business as usual right now, and we’re here to help. Check out our latest COVID resources.

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Thanks for reaching out! While you wait for confirmation from an Apptentive team member, you may find these free resources to be of interest:

Guide

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Guide

The Five Stages of Reducing Mobile Customer Churn

Retention is a top priority for mobile marketers. Our new five-step framework is here to help you improve your existing strategy.

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Guide

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Guide

2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report

Apptentive’s annual mobile app engagement benchmark report serves as a baseline to help app publishers across categories understand their app’s engagement strengths and areas for improvement.

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We tailor each demo to your specific business needs. See it for yourself and contact us today!

Thanks for reaching out! While you wait for confirmation from an Apptentive team member, you may find these free resources to be of interest:

Guide

View resource

Guide

The Five Stages of Reducing Mobile Customer Churn

Retention is a top priority for mobile marketers. Our new five-step framework is here to help you improve your existing strategy.

Download Now

Guide

View resource

Guide

2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report

Apptentive’s annual mobile app engagement benchmark report serves as a baseline to help app publishers across categories understand their app’s engagement strengths and areas for improvement.

Download Now

Customer Love in the Time of Coronavirus: Key Digital Communication Strategies

Veronica Rosenberg  //  April 2, 2020  //  7 min read

In this article, you will find coronavirus customer communication resources and recommendations for engaging with your customers during this uncertain time. We’ve shared messaging suggestions, example survey questions, best practices, and ideas of how you can leverage the tools you have—like Apptentive—to talk directly to your customers. This piece is broken into two sections: general recommendations and industry-specific recommendations for Travel, Food and Beverage, Finance, Media, and Shopping brands.

As you consider how to communicate with your customers during this time, please keep in mind that people are being inundated with information and bombarded with messaging from your competitors. We urge you to keep your communication relevant and helpful. Think about what will be most valuable for customers to hear before you reach out.

If you want to learn more about how to make sure you’re being helpful rather than creating more noise for your customers, we highly recommend reading this article by Apptentive CEO and Co-founder, Robi Ganguly. He dives into exactly why listening is so critical—especially right now.

General Coronavirus Customer Communication Recommendations

Although we’re about to cover plenty of tactics, our most important recommendation is to make sure you’re helping rather than adding to the noise. Remember to ask before acting, understand your customers’ current emotional state, and learn which communication is actually wanted.

Launch a Survey

Surveys are a great way to take a general pulse to understand current customer preferences and behaviors, but they also provide an efficient way to gather more specific and relevant feedback.

If you are in the position to help your customers or improve their lives in any way right now, start by asking:

  • What can we do to help?
  • What do you need from us right now? (Include single-select options relevant to your business, such as free delivery, promotions, travel alerts, news alerts, financial information, etc.)

Use surveys to gather feedback from your customers on how you are currently handling the situation and use it as an opportunity to build trust. This data can inform or help pivot your communication strategy moving forward.

  • How satisfied are you with how we are handling this issue? (Range of 1-5)
  • What are we doing right and should continue?
  • What are we doing wrong and should stop?
  • What are we missing that we should/could be doing?

It’s important to also include an open-ended question to allow customers to vent or share positive feedback. This is a place for them to share feedback on items you didn’t cover in your previous survey questions.

  • What else? Tell us!
  • What other feedback do you have?

Pro tip: Apptentive recently launched a new Survey template for COVID-19 customer communication. This makes it super easy for our customers to go live with these recommendations in just a few clicks.

Run a Note

Notes are a great way to communicate proactively to your customers on a variety of topics. They also include an option to deep link (if your app supports this), link to an external URL, or introduce a Survey.

If you launch a new app version in response to your customers’ needs during this crisis, use Notes to encourage customers to upgrade to the new version faster. It’s also helpful to direct customers to an FAQ page outlining how you are addressing the COVID-19 outbreak and what you are doing to support them at this time.

Sample copy: Our team has put together resources to help answer your questions during this uncertain time. Click the link below to view our FAQ.

A great strategy to get customers to opt-in to take a Survey is by using a Note to introduce it first. This allows customers to cut down on too much noise while letting those with time to spare the opportunity to provide valuable feedback.

Ultimately, it’s critical to let customers know what you are doing to help and share resources around where to donate if they are able.

Sample copy: We are donating to [X] charity at this time. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so by clicking on the link below.

Use Targeting Thoughtfully

Keep in mind that typical targeting suggestions don’t necessarily apply in situations like this. You want to avoid interrupting customers, but get them the information they need as soon as possible. With that in mind, consider using a homepage viewed, dashboard viewed, or other event early in your app cycle to capture customers when you have an important message.

Consider where in your app it will be most impactful to show the interaction and determine the right language to use. Use our suggestions above for language, or if you’re an Apptentive customer, ask your CSM or support@apptentive.com for help.

Think about the right cadence. Should you show a Note or Survey to users once or multiple times? It’s important to also think about your audience. Which customers should you message? Do you want to send this out broadly or to a select group of your most-loyal or active customers? Answering these questions before taking action will help shape your communication strategy.

Additional Communication Tips

  • Be thoughtful about the frequency of Notes and Surveys you send to customers to avoid being too noisy or disruptive.
  • Notes have character limits. You have 64 characters for your title and 320 for the body, so choose your words thoughtfully.
  • Notes also allow you to link to an external URL. This can be used for app store updates, links to FAQ pages, and more.
  • Read your industry’s section of Apptentive’s 2020 Mobile App Engagement Benchmark Report to see how your current app metrics stack up compared to others in your category. This is a good way to check the overall health of your brand.
  • Consider how long to run a Survey or Note and ensure that the content is current. The state of our world is changing rapidly, so be sure to update accordingly.
  • If your app is available in multiple languages/countries, be sure to upload translations once you have built your interactions.
  • Benchmark these responses and check back throughout the coming quarters. How have your customers’ attitudes changed over time? Have their needs changed?

Industry-Specific Coronavirus Customer Communication Recommendations

Food & Drink

  • Share an update on restaurant hours, or policy changes such as drive-through or take-out only.
  • This is also a great way to notify customers of free or discounted delivery.
  • Inform your customers of offers or promotions you have created to support them at this time of uncertainty.
  • Encourage customers to use mobile ordering to provide safe distance while speeding up orders.

Sample copy: We are now offering buy one, get one coffee when ordering through the app!

 

 

 

Finance

  • Share your support and resources for those who need financial assistance at this time.
  • Link to an FAQ about what you are doing to help your customers.

Sample copy: Our team has put together resources to help answer your questions during this uncertain time. Click the link below to view our FAQ.

Travel

  • Alert your customers that call volumes are high, redirect them to a help page or online support.
  • Inform your customers of offers or promotions you have created to support them at this time of uncertainty.

Sample copy: We are now waiving change fees for all itineraries through September 2020.

  • Alert customers that they may experience travel disruptions during this time.

Sample copy: Due to unforeseen circumstances, you may experience travel disruptions at this time.

  • Offer discounted or free memberships to travel programs.

Sample copy: Enroll in our travel program below, we are extending a 6 month free membership for all enrollments before April 1st.

Media

  • Let your customers know about new content to watch.

Sample copy: Check out the latest episodes of [X] show, all seasons are now available!

  • Guide them towards the latest news and turning on app notifications.

Sample copy: Follow the latest updates on COVID-19 by turning on your app notifications. Click the link below to enable.

  • Encourage people to subscribe to your newsletter to keep them updated.

Shopping

  • Promote ordering in-app since stores are closed.

Sample copy: Use the app to purchase your favorites items!

  • Let customers know they can schedule a grocery delivery.

Sample copy: Schedule delivery windows for the next two weeks to have your groceries dropped off on your doorstep.

  • Alert customers of an update to store hours or closures.

Sample copy: In light of recent circumstances, our store hours have changed.

  • If you are offering free shipping at this time, announce that via a Note.

Sample copy: Free shipping is available on all orders through April 15th!

Questions? Need assistance?

Apptentive Customers: Please contact your Customer Success Manager or support@apptentive.com

If you are not an Apptentive customer but would like to chat with one of our customer experience experts, please fill out this contact form or reach out directly. We also have a robust resource library full of communication strategies that all revolve around putting customer love first.

About Veronica Rosenberg

Manager, Customer Success | Originally from New York, Veronica worked in San Francisco at BrightRoll, an ad-tech startup, before relocating to the greener, colder PNW. She has spent her entire career in client-facing roles, focusing on making customers happy and successful. Veronica will talk your ear off about her cats, Pot & Kettle, the Mets and how much she misses NYC bagels. She can usually be found cooking or binge-watching Gilmore Girls in her spare time.
View all posts by Veronica Rosenberg >

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