As Frankenstorm rolled over the country most people were paying attention to the meteorological phenomena and wishing well for those who were caught in the strength of the storm. While I was certainly watching the storm, I also found myself particularly interested in how companies responded to the storm. While “storm marketing’ isn’t usually a thing, a lot can be learned about people and institutions during intense situations.
While I sat in my relatively safe home where we experienced unseasonable snow and strong winds, I got an email that really impressed me. It was from a bank based up north informing clients that they were pre-emptively waving all late fees, pushing back due dates and allowing clients a period of time during which they could overdraft their accounts without being penalized in order to ensure that all affected by the storm could focus on what mattered most and not worry about banking. They also offered their support and let customers know they would be available during and after the storm. I liked this email, and here’s why: it anticipated needs and it offered active support. You don’t have to wait for another Frankenstorm to come through to offer this to your customers. Look for everyday ways to show that you’re attentive and responsible. Whether you’re offering ice cream when the temps rise over 100 Fahrenheit or free expedited shipping of much-needed products, there are many ways to make people feel cared for.
Being able to anticipate the needs of others shows a sense of empathy and compassion.
It isn’t always easy - or even possible - for people to ask for help, but if you create the scenario where help just exists, then you make it possible for everybody to come out of the situation in better shape.
Setting a precedent of being able to respond with prompt and thoughtful decisions in an emergency puts you ahead in the minds of clients. The next time they are considering doing business with you, that will be in your favor.
Offering Active Support
Being supportive is great, but if you’re a company, then your kind of support does more than provide a shoulder to cry on or the ear that listens. You need to have constructive support: supplies people need, a service to help them through hard times, leniency when they couldn’t possibly pay their monthly statement because the streets are running with water - that sort of thing.
The niche in this case was clear. As a bank, they needed to make sure people’s financial dealings didn’t get messy just because the world around them did. Other companies can do the same by seeing how they fit into the picture of their customers’ and contacts’ lives.