Many businesses rely on in-person contact to thrive. However, now that COVID-19 has literally changed the way we do business on a global scale, many companies have been forced to close their doors indefinitely.
That being said, despite having to close their doors, we’re still seeing a spike in business engagement with their customers! Restaurants and grocery stores are still thriving with their contactless delivery and online ordering. People are staying inside to ‘flatten the curve’ (a term that literally is a part of our world history now), so streaming websites and telehealth services are more relied on than ever.
This goes to show that your customers’ needs haven’t vanished because of COVID-19 per se—they’ve just changed. So, change with them! Even if your business’s doors have closed indefinitely, you can still help your customers out and even grow your business. Here’s what you need to do for your company in the meantime.
- Review your current campaigns
It’s a weird time right now, especially from a marketing standpoint; all of the campaigns you may have created before March 2020 when social distancing and flattening the curve became a priority may seem pretty dangerous (especially if those plans involved getting large groups of people together!). That’s why now more than ever is the best time to review your current campaigns and really think ahead of the game.
Are there events you can host that can take place online? For example, webinars and online workshops recorded from your home? This is all something you can review and collaborate with to your staff if you all are still working from home. Maybe your staff members have some ideas that were never brought into fruition, but they can be applied to your current situation now. It’s time to really look at these campaigns and think ahead; are there some elements that can be reused in the near future that can keep your business going?
- Help your community wherever possible
Your actions don’t have to be giant or grand displays that end up risking everyone else’s lives; sometimes showing your support towards other positives are enough.
- Send e-newsletters that start off on a kind note; simply asking “How are you?” and commenting things like “I hope you’re doing well” can be enough to show others you’re there for them when they need your business.
- Offer only those products/services that can be more easily delivered in situations such as this; contactless is ideal because you prevent spreading the pandemic further by doing so.
- Be engaged on your social media—online is where everyone, especially your customers, are spending their time on. Share your concerns with them and listen to theirs.
- Send regular updates via e-mail if you can, or would like to. If you have a proper e-mail list then this is one of the easiest things you and your company can do while this is all happening.
- Put Customer Service Before Sales
Now is not the time to promote sales; again, it’s a very weird time right now that we’re all going through. Customer service has always been the heart of a good business, but if your goal was replaced with meeting a bottom line, then you need to get your goals straightened out and in this case, put your customers first.
If it’s at all possible, offer a discount or a special service that can be easily applied to their predicament. For example, if your clientele consists of other businesses who are struggling because of COVID-19, now is the best time to set your bottom line aside and really help struggling owners out by offering such services. In the grand scheme of things, your company will not remembered by how much money or successful sales you make. Rather, you’ll be remembered for the kindness you show your customers in their time of need.
- Plan for the future
Now is the best time for you to think big picture about your business—because what happens if this sort of a crisis happens again, in this lifetime? You will need to plan not only for pandemics such as this, but also for economic and even natural disasters that may have the same effect on the world. Be sure when creating this plan to include all of your ideas on how best to get through such an ordeal. It may involve building up an online presence more and more; after all this is not the time for businesses to remain a purely physical one.
- Most of all: don’t give up, and keep trying.
Maybe your company is one of the many businesses that cannot survive without in-person contact, such as hairdressing. Maybe your business can’t apply for the beneficial programs being released this year in response to COVID-19 because it doesn’t fulfill specific requirements. It’s all so easy to become disheartened and even depressed from a business standpoint.
Please, don’t give up, and keep trying to stick around as a business. Perhaps you’ll find a customer base you never realized would be the greatest source of your growth. The data after the pandemic has settled may be a little skewed, but there can be some glimmers of gold in terms of demographics and where you’re getting the most engagement online—in order to see any such glimmers, though, you need to keep going. Plus, the pandemic will not last forever. We’ll all come out stronger in the end!
Bonus tip: Update your website
One thing COVID-19 has proven so far is that online services are needed now more than ever. If your business has the ability to provide such services but the website is failing to function, you’re losing touch with all the people who may need your help…now more than ever, you need to be online.
For everything related to improving websites, building new ones that will help reach customers online, and more, we’re here for you at V3. Give us a call.