Everyone is looking for ways of dealing with the tough choices that the Corona Virus pandemic has forced on business owners and managers. It doesn’t matter if you a local gym or national airline, your business is hurting and yet at the same time it has never been more important to stay in touch with your most valuable asset, your customers.
Here are eight ideas that you can use to do just that.
1. Adopt an all-in-this-together mentality
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed lives worldwide, including those of your customers. When crafting your business approach during this time, it’s crucial to keep an all-in-this-together mindset. Take note of the difficulties your consumers may be facing, and send positive messages via email or social media. Send out grievances to the victims of the virus and check in with your closest customers throughout the lockdown. When your customers feel like you’re there for them, they will be more likely to be there for you.
2. Update, update, update!
As we’ve all seen on the news, this pandemic is anything but predictable. During these uncertain times, it’s crucial to keep your business and your customers up to speed with reliable information. If you need to change store hours or operations, make sure you broadcast these decisions on your website, Google and yellow pages. Keeping your e-pages updated will let customers know that your business is committed to clear communication and dependable service.
3. Consider e-commerce
If you are a small business owner, you may already have a small e-commerce section. Whether it’s selling your most popular products online, collaborating with local delivery services like UberEats, or providing your own door-delivery service to local customers, there are countless ways to continue serving customers while your in-person business remains closed. Now is the perfect time to add some e-commerce to your business; if you already have products available for purchase online, you could also consider expanding your stock.
4. Reward loyalty
Some of your customers may be making the conscious choice to support your business now that times are tough; show them that you appreciate their loyalty. There are dozens of ways to reward customer loyalty: a points card, a sale or simply just going above and beyond with service. Include a complimentary item in your client’s next order could be one way to show them that their business means a lot to you. Alternatively, if customer projects need to be put on hold during this time, you could show your appreciation for their patience by sending them a small gift or gift basket. A little gratitude goes a long way and will keep clients coming back to support you.
5. Communication is key
When face-to-face meetings aren’t possible, virtual communication is crucial in connecting with your customers. While isolating, make sure to monitor your social media accounts and respond to messages promptly. If you can’t respond to a customer’s message right away, let them know you’ve seen their message and will reply to them shortly. Sending out informative emails can also be a good way to keep clients in the loop: try and communicate your business plans with clients as much as possible. If you choose to communicate primarily through email, consider promoting your mailing list on your website and social media pages so that new customers can join. In all communication, make sure to express your concern and compassion for customers.
6. Keep up appearances
Even though the in-person business is shut down, for the time being, it’s still important to maintain appearances. Use this time to update your storefront or organize and re-furbish the interior layout of your business. A fresh paint job or signage will catch customers’ eyes while they walk. You can also advertise your online and delivery services at your storefront with signs or posters. Keeping your business looking up to date will let customers know that you are still on top of your game and committed to producing a fantastic product for them.
7. Give back
If you’re in the position to do so, find ways to give back to healthcare workers and others who may be struggling during this pandemic. Whether it’s sending meals, masks or hand sanitizer, giving back will not only help those who seriously need it, but it will show clients that you value your community. Even if you don’t have material items to donate, consider having a promotion where you give a portion of your proceeds to healthcare workers. Being generous during this time can help bring you closer to the community, and can help gain client trust and interest.
8. Look forward
One last way to keep in touch with clients during COVID-19 is by finding creative ways to stay hopeful. Show that you are looking forward to getting back to business by offering clients coupons or offers that they can redeem once business goes back to usual. While some businesses may not be able to operate as usual during this time, setting your sites ahead and building excitement about what’s to come will keep spirits high.