With numbers of COVID infections increasing daily, people are wondering when it will end and when we can begin to start feeling confident in an economic recovery.
No one knows for sure when recovery will begin.
In the meantime, there are a few things we know about how business and customers have changed. You can use that knowledge to restructure your marketing in order to better position your business for a stronger recovery.
Here are the three things you should be working on now for a stronger future.
Improve Communication and Copy
This is a global pandemic. That means in some way, regardless of where your customers live, they have been affected. Here in Alameda, we have had additional strife beyond the virus. People’s lives have been forever altered.
The first thing you need to do to prepare for recovery is to understand that the way you communicate with your customers must change. People expect a much more human face to business and they want to understand you and know more about you before spending money with your business.
There may also be topics or marketing copy you want to revisit. Many large companies are rebranding or dropping words from their company vernacular due to our current environment and racial tensions. Review marketing language and product descriptions. Take a look at employee communications. Understand how you’re being heard by all groups.
You’ll also want to adjust your content to reflect what people are going through now. Reimagine the solutions you can provide to the issues created by COVID and use that to shape your messaging.
If it seems like people have shorter fuses these days, you’re not imagining it. With children at home (instead of school or camp), jobs shifting to home offices, sheltering in place, protests, violent removal of statues in public areas, and some jobs being eliminated altogether, it’s no wonder that stress levels are high.
And it has ripple effects on other things as well.
Customer service lines are inundated with calls. Wait times can exceed an hour or two. Even if your customers, vendors, or other stakeholders aren’t frustrated with your business, they could become so if there’s any form of friction in the buying or contact process.
Stress is high. You don’t want to contribute to it.
Make sure you smooth out the rough edges as best as you can. Many people are fed up, scared, or just tired. Many want things to go back to the way they were but these past few weeks are showing that that may never happen.
There’s a high frustration in this realization.
Ensure customers and potential customers don’t have any of those situations with your business. Go above and beyond to improve the user experience.
Get Back into “Fighting” Shape
If your employees have been working from home, there are a few things you can do to make sure that everyone is “back in shape” for the office. You were in survival mode but now you have to prepare for thriving mode. Are there professional development courses you want your employees to take? Are there topics you need to brush up on? Make sure you encourage your staff to do so and give them time to complete these activities.
It’s likely been a while since they received any formal reviews or goal talks. Take some time now to make sure everyone is on track for success.
Your business cannot be successful if your employees aren’t.
Ask for feedback and listen to their suggestions. Right now, disgruntled employees may be afraid to leave a job. But their negative attitudes could be making it difficult for coworkers and customers. Don’t leave things unaddressed just because you’re out of the office.
There are so many free or low-cost options for professional development. Check out webinars, podcasts, YouTube videos, Facebook Livestreaming, and other online solutions. Don’t forget the chamber has educational offerings as well.
It may not feel like it, but it’s time to start thinking about recovery. With a couple of easy changes to your business protocols you can position yourself for a very successful future.
Check out our chamber calendar for educational events as well. We have a full virtual calendar. Being at home doesn’t mean having to ignore your professional development needs.