If you’ve noticed a drop in customers over the last few weeks, you’re not alone. According to the NFIB Research Center, one fourth of small business owners say the coronavirus outbreak is negatively impacting them in the form of slower sales (42%), supply chain disruptions (39%) and sick employees (4%). However, in the world we live in today, there are still plenty of ways to stay connected to your customers during this pandemic. Below we have provided examples of businesses who are engaging with their customers in ways other than traditional face-to-face interactions.
Stilisti Hair Salon in Boston
This hair salon in Boston has been shut down now for weeks now due to the coronavirus. But that hasn’t stopped owner Marissa Marino from delivering value to her customers. With no clients coming in, she came up with a way to bring her salon to them. Every day she goes into work and creates custom-made hair formulas and mails the personalized kits to her customers. Her regulars buy them up, which has been a major relief to her since she had to furlough her 25 employees. She said that the extra cash flow helps her pay for their health care.
Piroshky Piroshky Bakery in Seattle
Seattle has been one of the hardest-hit communities in the U.S. during the coronavirus pandemic, with many local businesses struggling to make ends meet. One Seattle bakery, Piroshky Piroshky, has taken a new approach to customer acquisition by live-streaming on their social media from the business. This brings customers into the process of baking. The company also partnered with another business, Pike Place Chowder, to offer home delivery, which it didn’t offer before the crisis.
American Track National Railroad Passenger Corporation
The American Track National Railroad Passenger Corporation, also known as Amtrak, is a great example of how to properly use social media for crisis communication during a pandemic. The company has seen a huge drop in their customer base since the virus’ outbreak. To stay in the forefront, the company has expertly used social media and email to keep its customers updated through all of its changes. First, the company announced it would enhance cleaning measures, as well as increase how much sanitizer is available on trains. Second, the company came out and said it would waive change fees on all existing or new reservations made before April 30, 2020, to make it easier for customers to postpone travel.
Pharmacies Across the U.S.
With pharmacies’ main goal being the health of their customers during the coronavirus crisis, many local pharmacies across the U.S. have made several policy changes to help customers. These changes include waiving delivery fees for some prescriptions, starting free delivery on certain products, and creating purchase limits on essential items.
We hope these examples of real world businesses and how they successfully engage with their customers during this pandemic have helped you know what your business can do to survive and even thrive during these challenging times. If you would like more ideas or advice for your business, your friends at FreshLime are happy to help!
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!