Recovering from Covid-19
We’ve all wondered what this looks like. Will it be gradual? Will it be all at once? How can I make sure my business is ready for a waning Covid pandemic? Most economists agree this is going to be a slow process so we’ll take that approach when discussing how to reacquaint customers with your brand. For specifics on your industry, please feel free to contact us.
Prepare for Semi-Normal Now
Its very easy to simply stare forlornly at your P&L, but this is a great time to be productive. Its a great time to work on the business instead of simply worrying about the business. The majority of American says they will be ready to re-engage with the businesses in their community within the next three months so now is the time to get ready. Ask yourself some questions.
How should my brand communicate?
Whatever thoughts, feelings or ideas you wanted associated with your brand, one word stands above them all right now: safety. Incorporating safety into your brand messaging extends to far more than simply add the word to marketing materials. What are the specifics of your safety plan? Customers want to know what you’re doing to make sure they stay safe and these measures need to be easily found. They and your employees need to be educated on it. Kroger has created several great guidelines on this effort.
Can information on my products or services be easily found online?
Shelter at home orders have driven up internet use drastically so if that’s where the customers are at, its where you should you be too. Statistically, people are much more likely to interact with your site before they interact with you during normal conditions. In today’s conditions, it’s even more true. Customers need to be able to see the value of what you’re offering. They need to know purchasing from you is an easy process worth undertaking. The site needs to look good on a phone and be secure.
Can customers easily interact with business through non-contact means?
Some people feel like they have been stuck at home forever. They long for connection, even with businesses. Because of this, they are using every form of communication to do it. The importance of customer support and engagement has climbed to new heights during the pandemic. Just recently, I came face to face with this fact. I was trying to contact my cell phone provider. I called them, waited on hold and then was referred to their text platform, from which I got no response. Next, I went to social media where I was finally able to connect with them.
All your communication channels should be ready to assist customers. Responding to social media messages once a day is no longer acceptable. Customer expectations for a response is one hour or less. Companies who deliver in that time frame reap a boost in customer loyalty. Winning loyalty will pay off well as customers shift back to normal.
Listen to the Experts
The impact of the virus has changed a lot of things. It’s important you capitalize on them before your competition does. Everyone will be competing for customers as they slowly emerge back into the world. Luckily, many experts have already weighed in on how to best succeed in our new environment.
- The American Customer Satisfaction Index recommends ensuring customer value for price for products and services.
- Online purchasing has risen. Having an online option to at least begin the buying process could have a big positive impact.
- Harvard advises constant communication about your plans, values, and opportunities.
- Forrester suggests a staged approach to bringing back staff.
Covid-19 has altered our lives and our businesses. During this time we can be productive by evaluating our processes and our communication. Customers need to be educated, informed, and feel like you are listening to them. They will use all communication methods at their disposal to contact you. Staying on top of available ways of connection can mean the difference in a customer increasing their loyalty to you or not. Some scientists are declaring we may see a second wave of the virus in the fall. Businesses need to be ready for anything. Investing in developing safety procedures, a digital strategy, and multiple communication pathways will pay off in the end.