This is an incredibly tough time for us all.
Business owners are struggling to stay afloat and pay their employees; on top of feeling anxious about the health of their loved ones and community.
It’s overwhelming, with so much falling outside our control.
But this doesn’t have to mean the end of your business.
After speaking with clients and industry leaders, I’ve come up with seven steps that managers can take to maintain at least some work activity, protect jobs and build relationships with customers during this uncertain period.
Although it’s difficult to attract new people right now, this is a good time to focus on looking after your current clients – who will no doubt appreciate your efforts.
- Clear messaging from your company about COVID-19
- Regular contact with clients
- Ask clients for reviews
- Review your website content during isolation time
- Learn some digital survival skills
- Improve the user experience on your website
- Share your knowledge with clients
Step 1: Clear messaging from your company about COVID-19
It’s important that your clients are informed about changes to your business operations. This message should be highlighted on your website, as well as sent in an email.
- Your operational timing and the level of staffing in your business.
- Changes to how your business is run.
- Procedures that minimise the risk of the virus to visitors.
- Outline any services that can be offered online.
- Explain any assistance that you can offer to clients (for example: free consultation, reduced pricing or refunds).
- How is your business supporting staff? If you’re taking care of your employees, let others know, so they may be inspired to do the same with theirs (which eases some of the stress in the world).
Step 2: Regular contact with clients via email
This is a good time to keep in touch with your clients. If you’re already doing monthly newsletters, consider doing it weekly now. Share advice and tips that may benefit your clients during this stressful time.
Create a newsletter schedule and assign the task to one of your staff members, if possible. Our team can also help you.
If you don’t already have an email marketing solution, this is a good time to set one up.
Step 3: Ask clients for reviews
Ask your clients for reviews that help you to build your online reputation and improve services based on valuable feedback. Again, ask one of your employees to manage this. Alternatively, we can suggest a couple of tools you can use.
Step 4: Review your website content
There’s probably no better time to review and edit the messaging on your website. Most business owners I work with normally don’t have enough time to look at their website, let alone carefully read through it. But now? It’s likely we’re all going to have more time on our hands.
Make a coffee, sit down and read the content on your website. Does it really reflect your core values and unique selling points? Check out your main competitor’s website and see what you can learn from them.
Step 5: Learn some digital survival skills
If you suddenly have a lot of free time on your hands, why not empower yourself by learning how to measure the performance of your website – so you can make informed decisions about your campaigns?
Understanding how to read your website data (Google Analytics) is the most important digital marketing skill for your business.
It’s valuable in the same way that every business owner is able to read a P/L report.
Our team can teach you how to read and interpret information from Google Analytics. This is the best step you can take to make sure you’re investing in campaigns that work (instead of wasting money on those that yield average results).
Step 6: Improve the user experience of your website
Really think about how you can give people a better experience on your website.
Would online chat benefit your business? Are there free resources that would help your clients?
Tools like www.userinsights.com.au capture online behaviour. This helps you to understand why consumers land on your website but don’t engage or contact you.
Step 7: Share your knowledge with clients
Writing a blog post is probably the last thing on your mind right now, but keep in time that people are spending more time online because of social distancing. This means that SEO-optimised blog posts are attracting more attention in the online world.
Think about this:
If everything goes into lockdown, your website would be the only element of your business that isn’t impacted by the COVID-19 virus. It’s the best salesperson you have right now, so it should be active and engaging for consumers.
Rather than pausing all digital activities, I recommend that you keep your website active and visible. When the health situation improves, it’s more likely that people will reach out to your business.
If you need specific recommendations or would like to discuss any concerns, please feel free to contact me. I’m happy to share some additional strategies for your business too!
- 7 ways to stay connected with customers during COVID-19 - March 27, 2020
- Are you managing your online reputation properly? - March 17, 2017