There is no doubt about it, the Covid-19 situation has shaken the world, changing lives beyond recognition. But that doesn’t mean that everything must come to a stop – think of it as business being postponed, not cancelled…
Although it’s normal to be fearful for our friends and family’s health, now is not the time to panic. If you are one of the many business owners whose workplace has closed or whose workload has changed significantly, take this time as an opportunity to focus on your business plan. As nobody can know what the future holds, make a start by taking these small steps to keep your customers informed and reassure them that you have not disappeared forever!
If you don’t address those big questions soon, such as whether you are open, are you able to meet customer demand, what are your current policies during these volatile months, and so forth, then you may be inundated with customer queries that could result in a damaged customer service reputation. All your customers want is a little bit of certainty during a very uncertain time.
1. Keep connected with mass mailings
While some people normally opt out of email marketing, most customers would welcome an e-letter from you at this time clarifying your current status. Whether you are a sole trader, small business or a large enterprise, we know that you value your customers equally and will want to give them vital updates regarding business and what they can expect from you in the coming months. Don’t feel that you need to give them all the answers, as they will know that the situation is ever-changing and that the future cannot be predicted. Just a little reassurance as to what measures you are putting in place and how you intend to navigate the situation is all it takes to keep your client-base feeling ‘in the know’.
2. Don’t limit communications to email
While email is a fantastic channel for spreading the message, it might not be the best tool to manage incoming queries. As such, you may wish to direct any customer queries to a messaging app or, at the very least, have implemented a strategy with your team for responding to those all-important questions in the mailbox. Messaging apps offer instant clarity as to whose messages have been acknowledged, meaning that the workload can be shared amongst a team with few complications. They are also quick and convenient and can be accessed from mobile devices to ensure a constant online presence if that’s what you want.
3. Ramp up your social media presence
Social media is, for many businesses, one of those things that gets put on the back burner until those essential jobs are done. The time could not be better for business owners to change their attitude towards social media and recognise the importance that this connectivity has in modern business success. In the current climate, not only do social media sites help you to engage with new and existing clients, but they also help you to promote your values by sharing stories that you feel passionate about whilst staying connected with other relevant organisations. Say, for example, your managing director is personally raising money for or providing cooked meals to those in need, wouldn’t you want your community to know about this and help encourage others to do something positive for their own community?
4. Update your landing pages
You may have set your website up a long time ago. The only maintenance you tend to do is uploading blogs or changing your seasonal advertising. Coronavirus is not just a phase, it is affecting people across the globe and it would therefore be strange not to mention it on your website. You can, of course, add pages of regular news updates. However, wouldn’t it be simpler to refer people to your homepage, where you can offer the latest information available?
5. Keep creating engaging content
Lastly, don’t underestimate the power of creating engaging content for your customers, even during this period of lockdown. You may be a wedding venue, unable to hold events until further notice, yet your customers still want to see you, hear from you and look at pictures from happier times. Perhaps you could keep them up to date on all the fantastic changes you have already made during the closure and the plans you have for the future? Even when business is not what it once was, you can still inspire and gain interest from your loyal customers as well as attract new business. Just think, everyone is at home scouring the net looking for things to do, plan and look forward to once this is all over!