If your business is anything like ours, this whole COVID-19 situation has forced you to be more creative than ever. How can you reach your audience? Where should you focus your messaging? When is it okay to click “Stop Video” on that Zoom call?
As New York State continues to re-open, here are some expectations and reasonable goals you can set for your business.
1. Be cool.
Is your business starting to regain its footing? As you re-open your doors and invite employees back to the workplace, understand that each employee is moving at their own speed. Remember, many of us are still dealing with the social, economic, psychological, emotional, or physical impact in our own way—and that’s okay.
As a business owner, there’s nothing more valuable to you than the safety, health, and happiness of your own team. We hope you’ve done so already—but if you haven’t—please let your team know that their well-being comes first. Talk to your team and:
- Let them know they’re in no rush to return to the office
- Make it clear they are welcome back whenever they’re ready
- Support their work-from-home situation
- Continue to assess their questions and concerns without judgment
- Curate free resources for them to access
We’re still navigating uncharted waters here, so be patient. If you rush everyone back to the office—without giving them an opportunity to move at their own pace—you risk alienating team members and potentially losing them for good. During this time, your loyalty and leadership will be recognized, appreciated, and remembered well. Where do you stand? What message are you sending? How is it being received?
At the same time, reiterate to your customers that you’re still hard at work. Show them how you’re willing and ready to produce just like always. While they may need be flexible as you continue to pivot day-to-day, you can keep them happy and retain their faith by staying engaged. Speaking of which…
2. Stay engaged.
Want to stay involved but not ready to meet face-to-face? We feel you. To stay engaged, consider the following:
- Explore e-commerce opportunities to extend your business online. Some quick and easy e-commerce platforms include Shopify, Etsy, and eBay. If this isn’t an option, share images or videos of your product on your website so people can “window shop” online, and then invite them to place an order via email. We’re always here, too, if you need an extra hand establishing an e-commerce presence.
- Stay up to date on your social media Use this opportunity to celebrate your company culture—share fun updates from your team, offer creative ways to enjoy your products, or create a contest to keep people engaged. Are people coming back to the office? Celebrate their triumphant returns on social media.
- Send an email, but stay away from potentially insincere or overused language like, “We’re all in this together.” Aim for an upbeat message that offers helpful hints or tips that will be useful to your customer without pressing the cold hard sale. Use every opportunity you can to share good news and stay positive.
3. Offer help.
At the beginning of the year, you may have had some customers seriously considering your products or services. But then COVID-19 hit and they were forced to pull back a bit. If a customer is still interested but not totally prepared to make a commitment, is there anything you can do for them pro bono? How can you help them right now?
The good customers—those you want to earn or those you want to keep—will (theoretically) remember your generosity and revisit your business for paid services later.
4. Get ready.
In New York State, re-opening has already begun. You and your customers are now re-engaging the marketplace with more freedom than ever in 2020—what are you doing to share the experience? What’s the next step for your business?
Here at TQS, we remain cautiously optimistic about the business world moving forward. At this time, yes, we recommend taking advantage of the accessibilities available to your business this summer. Now’s the time to celebrate summer deals, spread pleasant messaging, and share an enthusiasm for your business, your customers, and life in general.
On the flip side, be careful not to overextend yourself. We’re as excited as you are, but we must be careful about setting realistic expectations. Think about what’s best for your business right now, but without sacrificing future productivity down the road. It’s an elegant dance, and your job is to take the lead.
Our best recommendation? Welcome back your customers with a custom webpage, email, video, or social media campaign. Who knows? Maybe they even deserve a special discount for being patient, loyal customers during COVID-19.
We’re looking forward to meeting you in the real-life, honest-to-goodness, person-to-person marketplace soon enough. Until then, keep on keepin’ on. We’ll talk again real soon!