Reach out and Engage With Established Customers
Out of sight, out of mind, is something that you don’t want to happen. People might be practicing social distancing physically, but they still want to engage with others. If you have taken a hiatus from communicating with your established customers, now is a time to make contact. Reach out and tell them about what precautions you are taking due to COVID-19 to keep them safe.
All those emails about companies' responses to the virus might seem useless, but for many businesses, they are highly critical to give people security knowing that their safety and health is your number one goal. Although COVID-19 restrictions might be lifted soon, the fear will remain. And even though you can reopen, there will be a large majority of people who will forever alter the way that they look at things and the dangers that contagion will present to them. COVID-19 might be almost over for now, but there are threats that it will return, and now is the time to let people know that you are preparing for the future.
Communicate in full detail how you are taking precautions for the here and now, and how you plan to address future threats. The reality is that the steps taken in the COVID-19 era will forever change the way that the public deals with outbreaks and perceives the threat of doing business as usual. As a business owner, put procedures in place to calm and reassure your customers and it will build loyalty for when you reopen and well beyond!
Update Your COVID-19 Policy on Your Website and Social Media
Never before have you had such a captive audience. According to SocialMediaToday.com, the average person is spending 20% more time on social media due to COVID-19. Pre-COVID-19, the average person spent two hours and twenty-four minutes, so that is a significant additional amount of the day that you have to communicate with established and potential customers.
Not only is it important to reach out via things like email marketing, but now is the time to chalk your social media sites full of information about your response to COVID-19. And also, to distribute material about how you plan on protecting those you serve. The key is to provide information that is upbeat, non-threatening, and engaging. Customers want to hear a positive approach to COVID-19 and future viral scares by seeing that you are taking actionable and real steps to stop the spread of the virus, and also to keep them safe. They shouldn’t have to wonder if you are taking precautionary steps.
Or, to think they have to go the extra step to ensure on their own, and their family’s, safety. When you outline what your new procedures are, they have the reassurance that hiring you is a safe way to go. If you are explicit and devise a real campaign to communicate to customers, you will win out over competitors who don’t. Although COVID-19 might be near the end, you still have to respond and let the customers know how your business is forever changing to address not just the current threat, but any that might come our way in the future.
Post-New Policies to be Highly Visible
Don’t leave your customers guessing if you are going to take this threat and future ones seriously by changing policies. Give them the information they need to find safety by posting the steps you are taking to keep them safe. Policies should be outlined in full detail, explaining not just the responses and alterations you are making, but why you are, and how long they will last.
People are growing tired of all the rules and regulations, but if you provide an explanation of why you are taking them and find them necessary, they will go from irritated to finding security. And they will begin to feel good about choosing your company over others that are not taking current or future threats seriously by forever changing the way that you do things.
Announce Your Intentions to Reopen
Although the stay-at-order will be lifted soon, people are still unaware of which companies will open their doors and what changes will be made. Make sure to give people the information they need not just about procedural changes, but also about any hour changes you are making.
It is highly critical to be on top of any hours of operation changes that you have made by listing them on your website, your Google Maps, and Google my Business listings. It has become very difficult to know whether businesses are keeping up with open and closed times when consumers Google business hours. And it has become super frustrating to believe that businesses are open due to the information found online only to find out that the information is wrong and has not been updated.
It literally only takes you about five minutes to change your hours of operation; so do it! Also, when you are ready to reopen, shout it out via email, social media, and whatever media outlets you have used in the past! You want to take full advantage of the post-closing order. When people begin to feel safe to leave their homes, they are going to be excited to go out and enjoy life again. Make sure that you are one of the businesses they go back to once this is all behind us by reminding them that you are open and ready to serve.
Communicate Via the Internet and All Other Ways Possible
It is not only important to use social media outlets and website details to give information in these uncertain times about your company or business; make sure to be very communicative and responsive on the web and in person. Your voice message should be clear about what changes you are making, especially if you don’t have a real person answering your phones.
And any communication you use should also have projections about what the future will hold. You want to ensure that you are highly responsive and engaged with your customers by providing the most information possible, and when possible. And also by having a real person to answer questions to ease the tension of the atmosphere we are all living.
Come Out Swinging
COVID-19 has thrust us all, especially small businesses, into a time of uncertainty where we are all just trying to make it through the storm. But those who show fearlessness in the face of adversity are the ones who will not only survive; they will thrive. Now is not the time to give up and shrink from the public’s eye. Rather, it is the time to engage with your existing and potential customers so that when this is behind us, you have built loyalty, trust, and reassurance that you are there to serve.
And also, that you care greatly about those who put faith in you by responding not just to this pandemic, but to the way that it will forever change the consumer’s psyche about safety and health. Be brave, forge ahead, and make your voice known by every channel available to help those around you find security in such insecure times. Let Fu Dog Media help you take full advantage of the post-COVID-19 era by taking the right steps now to come out swinging.