Are You A Business Owner? Read This! (Covid-19)
We've all read the news, if we don't live under a rock, and while the full extent of COVID-19's global impact is yet unknown, now is the perfect time to take the responsible measures to protect - yourself, your employees and your business.
Fact and source check everything before sharing it further. Creating, sharing or even reading content without fact checking or spreading misinformation from unreliable sources makes things worse.
Visit World Health Organization (WHO) or follow up with your local Disease Control and Prevention centers, or Public Health Emergency's as they are usually the ones that are most up to date.
While hospitals and governments work to keep people healthy and safe, there are many businesses like yours that might be effected during this time - but mindset is everything!
This moment of disruption can be looked at as a negative impact from a financial & business standpoint that we can dwell about or that it's the perfect time to build a great strategy move for your business!
It's not always that we are this lucky ''thinking'', while the world waits for us to build something great..
Let's begin with some general guidelines to follow for your business safety
1. Employees & Business
Update your employees with the latest news, developments and health regulations.
Share fact-checked regular information about the side effects of the coronavirus such as dry cough, shortness of breath and/or fever. Create ''clean-stations'' at the work environment and ensure your staff is following strict protocol to keep everybody sound and healthy. In case employees just got back from their traveling or holiday, make sure they work remotely for the time being.
Your company can also provide your companies own branded sanitizers, reminder stickers/magnates about washing hands or t-shirt's.
2. Communicate Pro-Actively
Trust builds the brand, so make sure to encourage your customers to put their trust in you. A couple of ways to communicate with your customers and employees using your website by:
Live chat or connect a temporary live chat-function to your website.
Keep customers updated on your events, product inventory or services.
Another powerful tool is emails to let customers know about changes to your business or special offerings.
If you are able to set up and build a forum, do it, but only if you can actively respond to questions and concerns. Continue writing blog articles detailing what your business is doing to keep your customers safe and the same goes via your social channels.
Make sure that your business is keeping your customers updated on your website and social media pages with any changes to your work hours, shipping delays or service cancelations - think omni-channel experience.
Now that we got this covered, here's a list of best practices you can consider to keep your business running smoothly—online and offline.
1. Payment Options = Customer Experience
Change the way your business makes transactions, now when everyone is keeping their hands in their pockets, it's a great way to offer online payments or a substitute for contactless payments. Digitize the payment process as much as possible.
2. Think Outside Of The Box
Your creativity is limitless - work around issues as they arise.
Find innovative solutions and be flexible so you can ensure customers will return. A company that is able to personalize and customize according to the clients needs understands that there is no one-size-fits-all plan - become a problem solver.
Events, Services or Appointments
Now is the time to be flexible with your scheduling and re-bookings.
By postponing your offerings to a later date this is a great solution for both you and your clients. Build loyalty by either expanding membership plans and packages for your services, make sure to consider extensions or waiving any additional fees for last minute rescheduling.
Face-to-face interaction is not the primary choice - go virtual!
We're not talking about becoming an avatar, but for some companies that offers e-learning or consultation, it's a great time to expand your services even more online by using Skype, Zoom or other video conference tools.
You could also consider social options such as Facebook Live or Instagram TV to broadcast your events on social media.
Keep providing top customer experiences, even if it's just a few clients that pass by and visits. Now is a great time to explore and inform them about the possibility of shopping online (if you're able to offer this option).
If you don't have this option - encourage an implementation of delivery services for no extra fees.
Another powerful tool for shopping is - Whatsapp - with it's 1.5 billion active users in 180 countries it's a great choice to build and maintain customer relationships over the phone as it still gives the closest to human interaction.
Food & Beverage (Restaurants)
This is your time to shine by offering online orders. Provide an easy and simple solution to have your food delivered or picked up. Food retailers that offers free shipping will have the opportunity to win customers over.
Creating a new hygiene protocol. If you're a restaurant it's great time to train your employees, re-visit and set up new guidelines to take extra precautions keeping guests and business safe.
Washing your hands has almost become the motto of the season so we make sure everyone washes their hands thoroughly and frequently. In case you are still serving customers in the restaurant make sure all areas that have been in contact with food surfaces, tabletops and tableware are cleaned.
Let's keep business running smooth and healthy!
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