COVID-19 has left almost no area untouched. The virus, which people thought was nothing more than a cold at first, has wreaked havoc in over 180 countries. While there is no minimizing the impact of the fatalities, COVID-19 has also negatively affected businesses across the globe. With the global pandemic still in full-swing, small and medium-sized businesses have had to shut down.
If you are one of those business owners, it is easy to revel in despair and hopelessness. At this point, it does seem like this problem has no end in sight. However, now is not the time to sit back. Being quarantined at home is the best time to think of ways that you can maintain the loyalty of your customers when the world finally opens again.
Our partners at Mcdonald Paper believe that this difficult time should be a prompt to come back better and stronger. There are several ways you can ensure that your company remains relevant in the post-COVID-19 world. Below are just a few strategies that you should employ:
While there is nothing wrong with taking the time to recuperate and involve yourself in self-care for a little, there is no better time to ensure the loyalty of your consumers after the pandemic than today. With time in your hands, you are free to research as much as you can. Learn more about what other businesses are doing in order to cope. Scope out ways you can still turn a profit and provide for your employees even within the CDC standards.
Now is the perfect time to be innovative. Making sure that your cogs are turning will get you and your business out of this unprecedented rut.
Go Digital and Virtual
Social distancing is important to combat the spread of COVID-19. With that said, it is high time to explore your digital and virtual options. If you are a restaurant, maintaining a website or even just a Facebook page wherein people can order online and pick up their meals is a great idea to keep your business profitable and your brand top of mind.
These innovations send a message to your clients that your company is resilient even in the face of adversity. It would be easy to gain their loyalty even after all of this is over.
Keep Constant Communication
If you have developed a good working relationship with your customers, shutting down your business feels like you are losing your community. However, there is no reason why you should let a pandemic get in the way you talking to your clients.
With all the means that you have to get your message across, it is simply an excuse not to communicate with your customers. If you can, set-up a hotline wherein your customers can drop you a line especially when they are having trouble with your product.
Opening up the lines of communication would make your business human and approachable. Not only would you keep your customer’s loyalty but you are likely to gain a new following if you imbibe this strategy.
Stay on Social Media
With today’s situation, tapping into the power of social media is all the more important. It is a tool that can help you bridge the “social distancing” gap created by the pandemic. Post regularly and post content that has value. More than peddling your products online, it is important to give your audience the information that they need.
Having said that, you have to remember to stay true to your brand. Just because a nugget of information is important doesn’t mean that your social channels are the right place for them. If it isn’t on brand, if it isn’t relevant, if it isn’t helpful in any way, do not post it.
Give Discounts and Rewards
As a businessowner, you probably had the unfortunate task of laying off your employees or putting them on furlough. For those who have been let go, money is tight and they probably are relying on companies to be compassionate especially in this difficult time.
Now is the best time to offer discounts and rewards for customers. Sure, you might not be operating at 100% capacity, but profit is still profit. It doesn’t hurt that you help people during this pandemic and your brand remains top of their minds.
Offer Gift Cards
Not all businesses can operate online. For instance, gyms that do not offer classes have to remain closed because it simply isn’t feasible to disinfect or limit the number of people who can use certain equipment.
If you are one of those operations, you don’t necessarily have to completely throw in the towel. Your brand can stay relevant and even remain profitable by offering discounted gift cards that people can use once the pandemic has passed. Make sure these branded gift cards are unique and personalized. This way your company earns while staying relevant to your clientele.
Give Back to the Community
There is no undermining how difficult this crisis has been especially for areas that were hit hard by the virus. Some people are in tricky situations that they never anticipated being in. These individuals would remember the companies and businesses that helped them out during this trying time.
If your company can donate your services, products, or even just your time to those who have been heavily affected by COVID-19, do it! At the end of the day, there is nothing more rewarding than knowing that you were able to help someone. It is just a bonus that customers remain loyal to brands that have a strong corporate social responsibility.
Having to shut down operation is a business owner’s worst nightmare. For most owners, their business is the fulfillment of their lifelong dreams. This pandemic has taken it away. It is easy to feel despondent and feel helpless. However, if you want your company to survive into the post-COVID-19 world you have to remain positive. Adversity usually brings out the best in people. It is a great time to experiment and explore new ideas.
With hope, the tips above would help you maintain your customer’s loyalty after the crisis.