ZoomInfo recently covered the various ways in which companies are stepping up during the pandemic to support their employees, like paying hourly workers who have no hours, giving out cash bonuses, and taking a no-layoff pledge.
Now, we’re covering the ways they’re stepping up for their customers—a business decision that is equally as crucial as supporting employees. Because what companies are doing now can (and most likely will) impact their reputation, brand, and business relationships for years to come.
Ways Companies are Supporting Customers During COVID-19
1. Keeping us connected
In mid-march, the FCC chairman Ajit Pai published the Keep Americans Connected Pledge, stating, “As the coronavirus outbreak spreads and causes a series of disruptions to the economic, educational, medical, and civic life of our country, it is imperative that Americans stay connected.”
Pai asked broadband and telephone service providers to keep Americans connected for the next 60 days–even if they were unable to pay–and to waive late fees for residential customers and small businesses.
So far, Comcast, Charter, Verizon, Google, T-Mobile, and Sprint are among some of the companies that have taken the pledge.
2. Thinking of our kids
Several organizations are offering free services specifically for kids and schools. Included in this list is Zoom, which is giving free accounts with no time-limits to K-12 schools.
Similarly, Loom, a screen video and recording software, is removing the recording limit on their free plan and also giving free access to K-12 schools and educators.
“No credit card required,” Vidangel’s website reads. “Must agree to social distancing (and bigger hugs when this is all over).”
Free packages like these–combined with the empathetic language used to deliver them–lets customers of these companies know they’re being thought of as people, with families and loved ones to care for.
3. Helping us stay healthy
Many popular fitness programs are now available to you in the comfort of your own home–for free.
Planet Fitness and 305 Fitness have both started offering live-streaming services on Facebook and YouTube. Beachbody, the popular fitness app, is offering its services free for a 14-day period. POPSUGAR, a female lifestyle brand, had been planning to launch its fitness app for awhile, but General Manager Angelica Marden had her team work through the weekend to accelerate the process given today’s remote environment.
“We know that staying healthy is everyone’s priority right now,” reads the company site. “To support the wellbeing of our community during these uncertain times, we are offering Active by POPSUGAR for free so you and your loved ones can stay active at home.”
By offering their programs online, these companies are prioritizing the physical and mental health of their customers over immediate financial gain (which sends a message so positive that they could end up financially benefiting in the long-term).
4. Supporting college students (and non-students)
Among the organizations that are coming forward to support college students are U-Haul, which is offering 30 days of free self-storage; Rosetta Stone, which is offering three free months of their language courses; and Adobe, which is offering free at-home access to the Adobe Creative Cloud Suite for those who would normally only have access on their campuses.
Credited for Adobe’s decision is Professor RC Concepcion from Syracuse University, who personally reached out to the company to advocate for his students. Just 48 hours later, Adobe made the announcement, and Concepcion received a personal thank you from VP & GM Mala Sharama for reaching out.
Even if you’re not a college student, there are plenty of ways to keep learning from home, free of cost. Harvard University is currently offering a series of virtual classes on topics related to job-searching, specifically for anybody who may have had their careers impacted by the pandemic.
5. Giving us face-time with our colleagues–and our loved ones
Thanks to a group of software companies that have chosen to lead with compassion, we are now able to utilize the following tools to ease the burden of working from home and continue collaborating with our colleagues regularly and effectively.
- Microsoft has made Microsoft Teams free for six months.
- Google has given all GSuite customers advanced Google Hangouts capabilities, which include having up to 250 participants per call, live-streaming for up to 100,000 viewers, and the ability to record and save meetings.
- Zoho is offering free access to its remote work software, Remotely, until July 1st, 2020.
- Zoom has lifted the 40 minute limit of their free package for all users in China.
- LogMeIn is offering an Emergency Remote Work Kit that gives free access to GoToMeeting for three months.
- Cisco has made its Webex meeting software available for unlimited use for its customers and provided a 90-day free trial for non-customers.
While some of these platforms are primarily for completing office-related work, others can be used to stay connected with loved ones (a caring perk that today stretches globally).
Your customers will thank you later for what you are doing now.
Whether by offering an entire product or service for free, making a slight modification to an existing package, or accelerating a product launch, these companies have all stepped up to show their customers the same thing:
They’re listening, and they care.
Although many organizations–especially ones that have been financially impacted by the pandemic–may not be able to give back in such a tangible way, taking an action as simple as making a compassionate post on social media, or slightly altering your marketing strategy to reflect the times, can strengthen your relationship with customers (and prospects) now and well into the future.