Guest Blog Post by SpotOn
We’ve all been living and working through the COVID-19 pandemic for over four months now, and while the adversity that business owners have overcome is nothing short of inspiring, there’s still work to be done. The pandemic is still ongoing and consumers are grappling with a combination of fear, burnout, and the desire to get back to some semblance of normalcy. Luckily, that includes a desire to visit their favorite businesses. Here are four tips to help you take advantage of this strange time to improve your relationship with customers and make your business stronger than ever before.
1. Tailor Your Messaging to Prevent COVID Burnout
According to a recent Harris Poll, 66% of people feel overwhelmed by news coverage about COVID-19, 40% want to see stories of hope and inspiration, and 93% of people want to see non-COVID-related content. What this means for businesses owners is you’ll want to keep your messaging to both employees and customers positive:
- Rather than focusing on the negative outcomes of the pandemic to your business (e.g. indoor dining closures, occupancy limits, etc.), focus on what you can do for your customers
- Take advantage of social media to share pre-pandemic photos and videos that evoke good memories (ProTip: utilize a hashtag like #TakeMeBackTuesday, #ThrowBackThursday, #TBT or #FlashbackFriday to boost your reach)
- Use this as a time to promote your company culture, even if your business is small, by showcasing you and your employees having fun at work or home (ProTip: again, take advantage of the relevant hashtags on social media, such as #MotivationMondays, #TransformationTues, #WednesdayWisdom, or #ThankfulThursdsay)
2. Continue Working to Keep People Safe
Just because people are getting burned out on COVID-19 news, it doesn't mean that the dangers of the pandemic are over. Far from it. That being the case, it’s important to keep putting in the necessary work to keep everyone who steps foot into your place of business safe. Make sure you’re following all local and state regulations, offer contactless payments, and promote social distancing, at the bare minimum. If you’re not sure where to start, see our COVID-19 Re-Opening Guide here.
3. Keep Your Customers Up-to-Date
While your COVID-19 safety response should no longer be the centerpiece of your social media and marketing campaigns, you still want to make it as easy as possible for your customers to get the pertinent information they need, including your updated business hours, any restrictions in service (e.g. outdoor dining-only, seeing clients by appointment-only), and any safety precautions that directly affect customers (e.g. mask requirements).
This information should be front and center on your website, your social media profiles, and on signage at the entrance to your business. Additionally, anytime you make a significant change to your hours or services, it’s a good idea to send a quick marketing email to your customers and also announce the change on social media.
4. Invest in New Technology
While it might seem counterintuitive to be spending money now, for many businesses, now is actually the perfect time to invest in new technology that improves efficiency and opens new revenue streams. Why now? Because there’s a good chance that you’re dealing with fewer on-premise customers and perhaps even have employees with down time. Particularly if you received a Paycheck Protection Program loan (which has been extended to August 8th for new applications), employees can be utilized to help upgrade your business and receive the training they need to prepare your business for the future.