Originally published in Entrepreneur.

In order to thrive in a post COVID-19 world, you need to reassess the ways you connect with your customers.

Here are a few things to keep in mind before you do so.

Get rid of silos 

Make sure all your teams use data to create a complete picture of the clientele.

Sales, marketing and customer service teams are working in silos—which causes a number of problems. Namely, it creates a fragmented image of your consumers and their journey across too many places for your team to be serving them at peak efficiency. 

Getting everyone on the same page is a first step and one that is essential to re-connecting with your people and understanding them in a more complete way.

Don’t ditch digital

Zoom fatigue is real and all of us are craving in-person connection. Though we’re on our way back to normalcy, don’t start planning for in-person conferences with customers for this year just yet.

 

Over the past year, you’ve (hopefully) spent time honing your digital communications and marketing strategy while recognizing the power of a well-crafted email campaign.

Your tone and candor in email is extremely important. You have to know your audience in order to be able to strike the right, personalized tone. Knowing your customers, and the needs and challenges they face, is essential to delivering appropriate communications.

Redefine “normal”

One of the good things to come out of 2020 is a more compassionate approach to workplace leadership.

If you weren’t taking a people-centered approach with your customers beforehand, you absolutely should be now. We’ve seen a big shift toward the “humanization” of marketing.

 

Sometimes it really is as simple as asking your clientele how you can help and voicing your support for whatever their current challenges are. Shift your thinking away from only achieving your own goals to supporting your followers in achieving their goals as well.

A customer-centric approach to marketing is essential to humanizing your marketing efforts and your brand. Make sure they feel heard and have an opportunity to discuss feedback with you. Use  satisfaction surveys, a closed online forum for customers, or direct outreach. Provide guides on using your products to navigate through a crisis, whether on continuing to manage remote work, or how to prepare for the post-pandemic world. Even if your services aren’t directly the most relevant, you can provide your people with curated content.

People are craving a return to normalcy, but it’s important to recognize that things may not be truly “normal” for some time and that may not always be a bad thing.