The global health crisis caused by COVID-19 had a far-reaching impact on businesses across all verticals and geographies. While businesses are responding to the crisis in their own way helping users, whether it is providing free delivery, offering access to premium features, or in some cases deferment of payment, devising actionable customer engagement frameworks is equally important. It is no secret that customer confidence has taken a hit with users hesitant to step out and travel like before. There has also been a paradigm shift in usage and buying patterns with customers preferring to spend on essentials rather than luxury buys.
👉 Definitive Buyer’s Guide To Customer Engagement Platform [Ebook]
👉 Retail Strategies and Omnichannel Engagement Frameworks [Ebook]
Such a permanent shift in user behavior has forced marketers to look at their engagement strategy and rethink their approach. In our previous COVID-19 impact quadrant, we looked at how this changed behavior impacted brands.
As you can see in the above impact quadrant, industries were affected in the following ways:
The questions that needed to be answered next were:
In order to help our community of marketers and product owners find the answer to these questions we partnered with AppFollow and collated insights from marketing leaders across 50+ global brands. These proven, real-world customer engagement strategies (covered in our Customer Engagement Playbook During Crisis below) have enabled us to create ready-to-implement frameworks that will help brands sustain their newfound growth, bounce back to pre-COVID numbers, and accelerate growth.
Check out the comprehensive Customer Engagement Playbook complete with expert insights, real-life use cases, proven tactics, and a path assessment checklist that will help you identify whether you need a growth sustaining, bounce-back, or growth accelerating strategy.
If your business happens to show growth during the crisis, naturally it is time to ensure the growth curve is sustained well after normalcy returns. The focus here should be engaging users while building a long-lasting relationship with them.
What are the steps involved in implementing the growth sustaining framework?
7Mind, Germany based mindfulness app noticed a drop in CPI/CPS when compared to other channels during the peak of the pandemic. The brand immediately doubled down on the aforementioned channel and similar avenues to acquire new customers.
Shermaroo.me one of India's leading OTT platforms leveraged the opportunity of creating relevant content, by releasing 'watch from home' tray to cater to the increased viewing time. The brand also launched a 'AbRumour Nahi Humour Phailega' campaign to lift up the moods of viewers through a selection of feel-good movies and comedies. The entertainment provider further sympathized with users by going international with their content and keeping the library free for two weeks.
Another interesting example comes from the entertainment app Disney+ Hotstar, which tied up with Indian fitness brands like Cult.Fit, Sarva Yoga, and Brilliant Wellness to stream tailor-made, fitness videos for stay-at-home folks during, on top of their regular content.
In case the crisis has affected your brand in a negative manner, taking a toll on your DAU/MAU and download numbers, then it is time to focus on the single most important thing: retaining existing users. Chances are due to the adverse impact on your business, new user acquisition might be deprioritized, in such a scenario, retaining current users make perfect sense, now more than ever.
How do you go about structuring a framework essential for bouncing back to the pre-crisis business numbers?
One of the top Indian mobility brands, Zoomcar offering self-drive car rentals changed their communication during the pandemic to activate high LTV users thereby retaining them. They accomplished this by optimizing their previous high-performing campaign by tweaking the messaging from 'why buy a car when you can rent one' to 'ongoing pandemic might not be a right time to buy a car'; why not rent one instead?'. This change in messaging on top of their best-performing campaign yielded more car rental subscriptions thereby adding to the brand's bottom line.
One of India's leading e-wallet and digital payments app, PhonePe noticed a surge in activity volume and order value for bill payment during the crisis. The brand quickly made changes to the app's home page making bill payment and recharge category prominent and pushing the offers/discounts below, thereby making the platform more helpful and relevant to the users at the given time.
One of the brands that aced this is OYO, who saw a decline in business owing to the nature of their offering. They quickly turned to gamification in their app to engage inactive users and ensure communication even when their services are on pause owing to the mandatory lockdown. The brand also released newsletters to let the users know what others in the community are doing during the pandemic, thus showcasing their empathy and willingness to help during a global health crisis.
If your business has neither observed burgeoning growth nor rapid decline, then your focus should be on building brand loyalty and re-evaluating your acquisition channels and spends, in order to identify the most ROI effective channel and diverting most efforts there. Another approach to building brand loyalty is creating a strong user community by providing your customers with a platform to actively engage with each other and with your brand.
What is the correct approach to building a growth-accelerating strategy and framework?
One of the examples comes from the entertainment industry with Airtel Wynk Music organizing virtual concerts, providing artists and users the opportunity to enjoy while staying at home. The app created playlists and used push notifications to alert users about these virtual concerts. The brand also took this opportunity to create personalized playlists to engage users while they are stuck working from home during the lockdown.
One example comes from the Australian online liquor delivery service, Jimmy Brings, who noticed users were complaining about a shortage of toilet paper and started on-demand delivery of that along with their usual offering, thus boosting their business and earning customer goodwill.
Download the complete e-book to learn about the strategies and frameworks in detail.
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