Connecting with people, specifically customers, is extremely important and with the current COVID-19 restrictions, it’s also extremely difficult. In a time when we’re told not to go out in public, not to get within 6 feet of another person and that we should avoid group gatherings, connecting with people seems pretty impossible. However, we’re very fortunate to live in a time when there is so much technology connecting us to each other constantly and immediately.
Businesses should be taking full advantage of the ability they have to connect with customers digitally during the current quarantine period we are experiencing. Some businesses have no problem moving the majority of their sales online, but not everyone is in that boat. For example, a plumber can’t repair someone’s leaky pipes without being there in person. However, there are other things that service-based businesses can do to keep their customers interested:
Entrepreneur.com touches on alternative ways businesses can meet their customers’ needs during this time. One idea would be to offer advice via FaceTime or through How-to Videos. Sending your customers tutorial videos to help them fix common household problems shows them that you care and have their best interests in mind. Customers will remember that you helped them out in their time of need, and they’ll be more likely to use your business in the future. If you are able to offer FaceTime calls where you can diagnose an issue for a customer over a video call, they’ll probably be more interested in using your business because of your willingness to be accomodating.
Take Precautions and Let Customers Know
Even with the current situation in our country, if someone’s heater breaks or they have water leaking through their house, they’ll probably still call a plumbing company or HVAC specialist to help them out. A great way to ensure that your business is the one they call is by taking precautions to keep everyone safe, and letting customers know about these precautions. Send out an email to your contacts (past and present customers) detailing the steps your business is taking to keep them healthy:
- Your employees will enter their home wearing a protective mask.
- Your employees will wear gloves throughout their visit.
- Your employees will sanitize their hands before entering the home.
- Your business won’t allow employees to work if they are feeling ill.
There are lots of things your business can do to keep your employees, yourself and your customers healthy. Letting your customers know that you’re putting in the effort to do so will set you apart from the competition.
Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Improving customer retention rates by just 5% can raise profits by 25% to 95%. How does a business go about improving customer retention rates? By keeping the lines of communication between themself and their customers wide open. Your customers should be able to contact you in whatever way is most convenient for them. This means your business needs to be accessible through:
- Phone Calls
- Text Messaging
- Social Media
- Website Chat
As a business owner, you should be reaching out to your customers as well. They won’t remember every business they’ve ever worked with, but they will remember the ones that made an effort to build a relationship with them. Communication is key, especially during a quarantine when people are struggling to connect with each other.
In order to connect with people and meet your customers’ needs during a quarantine, you may have to step outside of your comfort zone and focus on customer engagement that is creative and stands out. Think outside the box when it comes to helping your customers while still respecting the idea of social distancing.
For more insights on marketing strategy that actually works for small business, connect with Jay Bean, Founder of FreshLime and Small Business Marketing Expert on LinkedIn and Twitter. If any of these tips have helped you or if you have anything to add, please comment below. We’d love to hear from you!