How to Continue Serving Your Customers During a Pandemic
Written by: Advantage IM
April 21, 2020
Your business has undoubtedly undergone a significant change recently due to the global pandemic of COVID-19. Whether or not you can still operate as “normal” in providing your customers with the products and services you offer depends on whether or not your business is considered “essential” in the eyes of the government.
If your business has been deemed “non-essential”, you might be feeling like there’s nothing you can do to keep your business going, especially if you have a physical location or storefront that you’ve been forced to temporarily close. How can you keep a business running with no storefront? What can you do to stay relevant in your market when demand seems to be lower than ever before?
Getting Your Business Online
Luckily, owners trying to keep their business afloat from home have one big advantage: the Internet. With current technology and the Internet so readily available, you not only have an essential tool available to promote your business, but you can also benefit from the fact that your consumers are spending more time online now due to the pandemic than ever before. It’s vital to remember that while you are forced to stay home, your customers are, too.
But the Internet is a big place, and it can be difficult to determine which online efforts you should be making for your business while utilizing your time and resources efficiently. As a professional online marketing company, we’re here to help you figure that out.
Keeping Customers Updated on Your Business
Since social media was invented, people everywhere have enjoyed sharing what’s new in their lives online. We see this occurring exponentially more frequently during the pandemic, since people are restricted from gathering with friends and catching up in public or private spaces. Keeping people updated on how the pandemic is affecting your business is a great way to ensure your customers stay connected with you.
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The most important things to share with your online audience include:
- Updates on your current operations and business status.
- The availability of your products and/or services.
- What your business is doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
- How to contact you with questions or concerns.
Use the checklist below as a resource when sharing updates on your business to ensure you cover all your bases and reach your customers in each place they look to find you.
Becoming a Resource that Customers Can Rely On
If your business operations have temporarily shut down due to the pandemic, you can still provide value to your audience by acting as a resource for information they need during this time. General information on the current situation is helpful, but considering your business’s demographics and picking specific content to share that applies to your specific customer base is even better.
- If your audience is comprised of other business owners, share updates on pandemic relief programs that are becoming available to them.
- If your customers are mostly parents, share helpful resources for teaching children from home and how to keep their families safe during the pandemic.
- If your audience is primarily younger-generation consumers, post tips for staying productive at home and share informative videos or images.
- If your audience contains a variety of different people, link resources that promote mental and emotional well-being, as well as updates on COVID-19 that are relevant to your geographic area.
When you share content that speaks directly to your audience and comes from a valid, reliable source, your audience will quickly learn that although you may not be able to provide them with your usual products or services, you can provide them a place to get vital and beneficial information they need during the current crisis.
Maintaining Engagement with Your Audience
Having a good online presence means more than just setting up social media pages for your business. As a business owner, you must use social platforms wisely – and often – if you want to stay relevant. In order to form and maintain a strong connection with your customers online, engagement is vital. Consider what your audience is feeling during this time. When you create and effectively maintain an emotional connection between your business and its customers, trust and brand loyalty can thrive. Here are some creative ideas for using your social media and online presence to engage with your audience:
- CREATE a poll to find out how consumers are using their extra time at home.
- ASK your audience to share their challenges during the pandemic.
- USE Facebook or Instagram Stories to share positive and uplifting messages with your customers.\
- HOST a live Q&A session to invite your audience to learn more about your business.
- TELL your customers a story via video about your brand’s origin, your team members, or a current topic they can relate to.
- ENCOURAGE your audience to share funny or wild experiences they’ve had while in self-quarantine or under the current stay-at-home order.
You can also create social media posts that ask your customers directly what they want most from you during this time. It might sound too transparent of a strategy, but today’s consumers and Internet users love and appreciate being asked for their personal input. Let them know their opinions matter to you as a business and that you’re there to help with anything you are able. Using empathy to speak to your audience’s current needs and emotions during this strange and confusing time is vital to forming a valuable connection with them.
Getting Your Team Onboard
The most powerful tool you have as a business is your team. Though you might be making difficult decisions to cut working hours or non-essential staff, it’s important to remember that you aren’t in this alone. Your core group is there to help you keep your business going, so it’s vital to get them onboard with online efforts and keep them updated. Working as a team can allow new ideas and strategies to form, promote a more positive way of thinking about your business’ future, and reduce your stress as a business owner during the pandemic.
We’re Here for You So You Can Be There for Your Customers
If you’re not feeling confident in your business due to the widespread effects of the pandemic, it will be a challenge to keep your customers confident in your business as well. Advantage Internet Marketing is here to provide you with the professional tools and expertise you need to keep your business relevant and help you feel confident in your marketing efforts.
Don’t let the current pandemic allow you to lose hope in your business. Reach out to us today to get the optimized online presence your business deserves.