It has been a very worrying and concerning time for businesses all over the world during the COVID-19 global pandemic, with so much uncertainty about when normality may resume, at The Workstation we wanted to outline some of the ways in which you can be there for your customers to help them through it, with the view of maintaining your business relationships during the crisis as well as after.
As a business owner, you’ve got the dual responsibility of safeguarding your company in these unprecedented times, as well as helping your clients through it. We know that it’s a lot to take on and may feel overwhelming.
One of the main things to remember is that this will pass. And when it does, you’ll be able to come back stronger, begin company growth again and go back on the search for new business. Whilst the crisis continues, it is more integral than ever to look after existing business and make your customers feel supported and heard.
As well as this, it is so important to maintain your marketing strategy, keep your company voice being heard on all platforms, even if you’ve had to adapt or adjust your strategy for the time being. Using your platforms to provide helpful advice, support and being a place that your customers or clients can come to if they are worried or have any questions, helps secure you as an important cog in their business plans.
It is imperative that you keep the lines of communication open. Not just between you and your customers but between you and your workforce. Whether you’ve still got staff members working tirelessly to keep your business running or whether you’ve had to furlough employees, communication is key to keeping morale up.
Being available to contact is important. If customers or clients can get hold of you to ask questions, to ask for something to be done or simply to make sure you’re still operating, they will soon trust that you’ll be there when you need them.
Make it clear to your customer base how COVID-19 has affected your business. Whether you’re now operating from home, have different operating hours or updates to share, make sure your messaging is clear, concise and easy to understand.
Do not use this time to market or sell products or services unless they are useful and relevant at this moment in time. For example, we know that right now at The Workstation our office spaces are not required, whilst people turn to work remotely or from home. Instead, we know that our virtual services are going to be needed to keep businesses running, so our messaging has changed to promoting those services that we offer instead.
People want relevant products, services and messaging at this time. It is so important that your company reviews what it is putting out there to your audience.
Keep in Touch
Pick up the phone or email your clients and customers to keep in touch. You don’t need a motive to get in touch, simply let them know that you are there for them if they need you and keep them updated on changes within your business.
It might even be worth doing the rounds and having a ‘business wellness check’ call with each of your clients. Ask them if they’re okay, how the business is faring and if there is anything you can assist them with, in the interim. It’s important to show genuine human empathy and kindness in times like these especially.
As things change over the next weeks or months, with the coronavirus briefings bringing with them new information each day, it’s important to regroup and discuss with your team. Keep on top of new developments, make sure you’re in the know about changes happening and look at creating short-term plans each week that can be reviewed often.
Make sure you have an exit plan for your business. Even if it’s a rough idea as to how to return to normality, slowly but surely. Each business will need to take a look at their current set up and make changes to make room for new social distancing rules, new hygiene procedures and more.
As a recap, the lessons we’re learning during this time will really help you to tackle future challenges and overcome future obstacles. It helps to pinpoint weaknesses and strengths in your business model.
If you follow these steps, you and your team could come away from the pandemic better connected, and with a stronger plan for helping to meet your customers needs in future.
Stay home and stay safe!