As businesses worldwide begin coming out of their coronavirus induced hibernation, the world is a very different place. Having a plan for reopening your business is imperative. Also critical is having a plan to communicate with your customers what to expect. Even before they walk in your door, your customers are faced with a laundry list of do and don’ts. They must be made aware of any services you may have (temporarily) modified or discontinued as well as precautions you are taking and procedures they must adhere to.
It’s not enough to make sure your business has taken the necessary steps to ensure public safety, you need to actively let customers know and reinforce your commitment by reaching out to them. Rethink your strategies and look at how you are interacting with customers. Think of it as an opportunity to win over new clients and ensure your regulars become customers for life. If you don’t let them know that you have taken steps to ensure their safety, they may be reluctant to return until they are confident everything is safe. As you prepare to reopen either partially or completely, there are some steps you can take to succeed.
It’s a tough call, but you need to be open and considerate of customer needs and concerns. Above all, don’t shy away from addressing their hesitations. Start with having a game plan for communicating and make sure your staff is in the loop. Everyone at your business should know how to answer questions to present a unified front.
After you have carefully planned out your strategy, it’s time to get the word out:
Social media – Put together posts on every outlet your company uses and be prolific in the time preceding your relaunch, and don’t stop once you are back in business. Now is the time to post about things that are going well and encourage old and new customers to come in.
Email – Even if you don’t have an established presence on social media (there’s no time like the present to start) you can write an informative email newsletter to share with your clients.
Website – Be sure that your website has your reopening hours and safety measures upfront when your customers search for your business. Investigate setting up a live chat. If available, you may want to set an automated message to pop up as well. Take a look at your website and make sure you have a FAQ’s section that is up to date so customers can find answers.
Text message/SMS – Does your business uses SMS marketing? If so, keep in touch with text messages to inform customers and get them excited about your reopening plans.
Remaining honest and willing to explain what to expect will go a long way toward building trust with customers. As your policies and procedures change, update customers, and explain how your decisions are for everyone’s safety. Display proper procedures and suggested practices in your business. There are many resources online for restarting businesses. You can find everything from guidelines to printable in-store signage from sources like the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and your local Chamber of Commerce.
Show Some Love… and Empathy
Because you aren’t interacting with your customers in-person as much as before, it’s not as easy to show them how much you appreciate their business. Be sure to thank customers who are supporting local businesses. Think of ways you can show your community spirit and show genuine empathy for clients.
Paying attention to your customer needs and taking steps to keep them happy, not just during a crisis, will go a long way towards building a long-lasting relationship and ensuring your customers know how much you care.
How has your company managed during mandatory closures? Have you been able to run your business remotely with a reduced staff? To learn more about moving your communications to the cloud, talk to Carolina Digital Phone today. We can help you streamline your communications and even cut your costs. Click on the link in the lower right-hand side of this page or call us today at (336) 850-5400.