This guest post was contributed by New Hampshire business advisor Kimberly Gilbert. With years of experience in health and safety consulting and a degree in Business Management, Kim Gilbert hopes to help small businesses thrive in the pandemic economy. You may visit Kim’s website at https://www.gilbertbusinessconsulting.com .
As the leader of your business, effective and consistent communication between you and your customers is the critical factor in maintaining solid business operations. This applies not only to communications with customers during the pandemic, but also going forward in the new, unknown normal.
Here are three key points to consider when you are ensuring that your business lines of communication are open during a crisis:
Add useful content to your website
It goes without saying that, for those business owners who maintain a website, it is important to keep all contact information and hours of operation prominently displayed, as well as the business’ COVID plan if the business has direct contact with customers.
But consider going a step further and add something MORE to your site, such as a blog with helpful hints or information pertinent to your business or industry that is beneficial to your customers. This will demonstrate your full engagement and concern for your customer’s welfare, and allow real-time feedback from your target audience. A reader may comment on your suggestions, or suggest an issue that you may be able to address that you hadn’t thought of beforehand.
(If you are not able to create this type of content with the resources you have in-house, there are a host of good writers such as those at Say It For You who are ready and able to assist!)
Coordinate the use of your social media sites
Many businesses use Facebook, Instagram, Twitter or other social media sites in lieu of a website. If your company already has one or more established social media sites, be sure to keep them up to date as much as possible. Consider posting on a regular schedule, or when there are updates that should be broadcasted—change in hours, new products, new services, etc.
You do not need to overload yourself on this, but be positive and provide good content. Again, if your business lacks the resources or personnel to do this type of work, a ghost writer will be your next best friend!
As mentioned above, consistency in your message is very important. To maintain uniformity of your message across multiple platforms, consider using a Customer Relation Management (CRM) service, such as Hootsuite. Your content for multiple social media sites can be updated in one centralized spot. This will save you time!
Use your best marketing tool
According to a recent study by McKinsey & Company, email marketing is 40 times more effective than social media campaigns. This opportunity can’t be passed up, especially if you already have an established customer database. Use it to the max!
Topics to include in regular emails can range from updating your customers on your company status, offering new products or services, or just checking on your customers to see how they are faring during the pandemic. You will be amazed at the response!
An email campaign is especially useful if you have moved some (or all) of your business online, and would like to notify all of your previous and current customers.
If you haven’t already, consider using a service such as MailChimp or MailerLite to compile and grow your list. If you can’t find the time to write, again, consider hiring a ghost writer, like Say It For You, to craft a message in your voice, specific to your customer’s needs. Even better, consider sending a series of themed emails as part of an outreach campaign.
Whichever methods you chose to communicate with your customers, ensure that your message is positive, consistent, and empathetic. And always remember that there are resources to assist with the content of those messages!