Marketing & Customer Service During a Pandemic
We as marketers have faced many challenges over the past months. Where we would like to develop and implement cool and innovative ways to communicate with our audience, we have had to think very differently. In a sense, we have become responders ourselves. Businesses responding to disruption rely on communications to make sure critical partners, such as customers, vendors, employees and other stakeholders, know about changes being made. The messages being delivered need to strike the right balance between sharing relevant information, not divulging proprietary details and not overloading the recipients. In addition, strong and timely communication with customers demonstrates that we are in a “true partnership” versus a typical buyer and supplier relationship. Demonstrating and delivering your core values through communication to clients during a crisis can build a stronger foundation to grow the relationship over time.
At CompoSecure, we made a deliberate shift in our internal and external communications to refocus on the safety of our employees, customers and community. The COVID-19 pandemic has taught us all that safety consists of much more than security guards and secure facilities, and a strong record on workplace safety in terms of accidents or lost-time. Safety at its core principle encompasses the health and well-being of our colleagues, customers and the community around us, which has never faced greater challenges in modern times. We have leveraged instant communication tools that deliver messaging across multiple channels (e.g., text, email, phone, video) to deliver updates to employees and customers on critical issues affecting employee health and safety and customer needs in real-time.
The CX (Customer Experience) Factor
The best companies are those that know and understand their customers. Especially now, while customers’ needs and expectations have changed so much and so quickly, we are paying attention to what those changes are.
Our Global Sales team has identified the top 3 challenges our customers and partners from around the world face as they consider launching a new metal card program during the COVID-19 crisis, and how we are addressing them
Challenge #1 – Seeing is Believing
The physical experience –being able to look, touch and feel the unique qualities of a metal card –together with professional interpretation, is critical to understanding the appeal and value of metal cards. The lack of face-to-face interaction makes this more difficult. In addition, creative and design decisions take longer than usual because our popular in-house design sessions are temporarily on hold.
To tackle this challenge, we have created digital relationships with our customers. We are able to keep moving due to simplified metal card samples, videos of a card in action and team video calls. These techniques are proving far more effective than sending traditional photos or PDF art files back and forth.
Challenge #2 – Timeline
Supply chain challenges have impacted production timelines for many businesses. For CompoSecure, the timeline impact stemmed largely from design development. To offset any delays, our team came up with innovative solutions that shortened the timeline by using simplified prototype samples. We developed front-only samples, which highlight the design and branding of the customer. This sample type can be turned around much faster and significantly speeds up the overall production schedule, while still providing the customer with a sample that addresses their needs.
Challenge #3 Forecasting Accuracy
Due to high unpredictability, the majority of businesses in today‘s climate are experiencing a big challenge in forecasting accuracy. We had to adapt quickly and deliver new ways to accommodate last-minute changes in forecasted production quantities. For example, when one of our clients placed their launch order, they had to place an urgent follow-up order because the demand was more than 3X their forecasted quantities. We were better positioned to respond because we implemented shared weekly forecasts as a best practice with key clients that looked at current vault inventory volumes and observed changes in the acquisition, natural reissue and lost/stolen cards. This shared forecasting and outlook for the rest of the year were discussed by the client and CompoSecure teams every week to enable more nimble responses to changing demand.
Today and Tomorrow
Our most critical and challenging “marketing” task ahead will be navigating our business away from crisis communication to business-as-usual, whatever our business-as-usual eventually becomes, while maintaining the best practices highlighted above. Improved communication and data integration across the customer’s touchpoints, together with personalized and relevant content will enable us to be the most successful in delivering the optimized customer experience.
Demonstrating and delivering your core values through communication to clients during a crisis can build a stronger foundation to grow the relationship over time.