Five Ways to Respond to Natural Disasters that Your Customers Will Love

A rainy weekend reminds me of the storms that devastated Western North Carolina in 2004. Frances roared into the mountains with a vengeance. The storm brought a steady rain for 36 hours creating floods and mudslides all over the mountains. Power outages, water main breaks, closed roads and all the other side effects made everyday activities extremely challenging. Nine days later, Ivan arrived bringing even more devastation. Today, we watch rising creeks and rivers with trepidation.

Direct marketers have a virtual store in every mailbox and computer.

Every season brings natural disasters in different areas of the country. These catastrophes have an effect on sales and product delivery. They are also an excellent opportunity to strengthen your relationship with your customers. Once everything has dried out and some order has been established, connect with your customers in the storm path.

The connection must be a genuine attempt to help and include service considerations.

If it also includes an offer, there must be no limitations. Otherwise, it is simply another promotion. Some ideas to get you started:

  1. Hold shipments to the area until you verify the customer can actually receive it.
  2. Reschedule any mailings to that area.
  3. Send a handwritten note expressing concern and hope that all is well.
  4. Offer a gift certificate. It should be enough to an item without additional funds.
  5. Send a token gift.

Relationships are improved (or started) when customers realize that your company has people that care. Use every opportunity to show that your business is more than policies and promotions.

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