As we better understand the challenges associated with COVID-19, attention has turned to reopening businesses and returning to work. This, in turn, raises questions about the mindset that business owners should adopt in order to re-establish their businesses in the new COVID-19 world.
Understand your Customers in the new “Normal”
Marketing is all about knowing the customers, so keep them front and center as you anticipate your reopening plan. Most people are reluctant to ease up on social distancing practices adopted during COVID-19.
Keep in mind that people may be easily overwhelmed right now and are likely to engage with businesses they feel confident in. This is your business’s opportunity to get rid of any uncertainty around the customer experience. You can easily accomplish this by sharing detailed information and responding quickly to any questions or concerns.
Don’t make the cardinal mistake of assuming that just because it is legal to reopen your business that your customers will automatically have enough confidence to come back. You’ll need to share exactly how they can safely do business with you in this new “Normal” business environment by demonstrating to them that you’ve done your due diligence when it comes to safety.
You’ll also need to be open-minded. These are unprecedented times – some people won’t be ready to ease their social distancing practices right away. You’ll need to be prepared to service them as well. Continue to adapt by making online purchasing easier, and offer services such as curbside pickup, delivery, and other social distancing options.
Put yourself in your customers’ boots. What do they need to know before they even visit your business? Provide a detailed, step-by-step guide on how your new customer experience looks like. Things to consider:
- Is there a limit to how many customers can be inside at a single time?
- Are appointments needed? Or, has the booking process changed?
- Have your hours of operation been modified?
- Have your products/services changed?
- Are you implementing contactless payment options? If so, how can customers be made aware of the changes?
- For customers that are still practicing social distancing, make those procedures clearly presented.
- How is your business keeping your operation clean and sanitary?
- What precautions are your staff taking to ensure a safe environment for your customers?
- Will they be wearing masks or standing at a distance?
Consider all of the above concerns and address them prior to people asking. Have your answers ready to go in a document that you can continue to reference. This information should become part of your new business culture for as long as Covid-19 lasts. Use these considerations in your emails, website updates, social media announcements, and responses to customer inquiries.
Update your Website in the New Normal
Now that you’re mentally prepared to reopen, you’ll want to announce your reopening. If you’ve addressed the questions in the above bullets; this will make your work very easy. Our next step would be to use the above information and update your online presence in order to prepare to make your big reopening announcement.
Prior to making any big announcements, you’ll want to update your website with all of the information you’ve compiled about your new normal procedures. When you make your announcement, your customers will have a lot of questions and they’ll appreciate you directing them to your website, which will already be populated with lots of helpful information.
On your website page about reopening procedures, walk your customers through the entire customer experience. This will illustrate to your clients that you’ve thought this all out and are ready to serve them in a confident and safe environment.
Update your online presence
Now that your website is updated, make sure that the rest of your online presence is updated with matching information. Update your Google My Business and all Social Media profiles that your business has as well as crowd-sourced portals such as TripAdvisor or yelp; depending on your industry.
Your social media announcements should focus on the same priority messages as your website, but should be more direct, the to-the-point, and put a greater emphasis on directing people to your website.
Grow your Business
This is an unprecedented situation and we’re all going to be figuring it out as it unfolds — together. In order to grow your business post-Covid-19 you will need to be a good student. Listen, Adapt, and Grow is the mantra that we at CodeTactic live by. As you continue to operate your business under these new circumstances, listen to feedback from your customers and your employees, and use that information to pivot and adapt. This will ensure a strong business foundation and allow you to continually grow.
And as you continue to adapt and make changes, keep your customers informed. They’ll appreciate the updates and your commitment to serving them as best as you can, even in the midst of these new challenges.