Reshaping Customer Interaction in the COVID Era.
During these stressful times and disruptions caused by COVID-19, small businesses everywhere took on the challenge of adapting to survive. The unique nature of Coronavirus means that some of the typical business practices went out the window. Former business procedures and attitudes had to be reimagined in the face of a global pandemic. Businesses had to reshape customer interaction through change in processes, technology, and added safety measures to best accommodate for customer satisfaction and compliance with ever-evolving state/local guidelines.
There are two areas that businesses should focus on: connecting with customers and understanding how to serve them better.
The success of business is directly tied to the ability to connect with customers. The unique and ever-evolving landscape of Covid-19 has caused business to adjust traditional protocol. Businesses need to demonstrate their commitment to meeting their customers’ needs. We recommend starting by brainstorming all the ways that your business could connect to its customers. Some examples include:
Advertising: One of the most important ways to gain market share is figuring out ways to stand out. Increasing advertising during a period where many businesses reduce their advertising can give your business a competitive edge. Additionally, due to the decrease in advertising spend, your dollars will likely go further. Examining low-cost communications of marketing (blogs, weekly emails, newsletters) can also help target your key audience.
Social Media: Utilizing social media is an inexpensive strategy to connect with customers. It is an underused tool for small and mid-size businesses during chaotic times. Small businesses can be creative and inexpensive. For example, hire an intern to help focus on building your business’ presence. Businesses should consider utilizing marketing automation tools such as Constant Contact and HubSpot to produce consistent targeted messages, to keep your business top of mind.
Understanding the unique needs of each customer: Every customer is different in how they are approaching COVID-19. Understanding how comfortable each customer is in this era of uncertainty determines how you interact/serve them. Some may be comfortable with socially distanced meetings, while others would wish to solely be remote. Connect with your customers through surveys or phone calls to better understand how they would like to engage with your business.
Once you understand how to better connect with customers, then you can embark on the mission of better serving them. Changing service models to be safe, effective, and low-cost can greatly benefit your business. Adapting to a delivery/pick-up model can result in better safety and better access during times of restriction. Figuring out how to create a more streamlined website can mean easier access for your customers and ultimately result in long-term lower cost of serving customers. A final measure is increasing the safety of your business overall. Instituting company-wide measures to ensure careful attention to customer safety can have a beneficial result.
After making these adjustments, let’s make your business ready to sell. Our business brokers hold the knowledge on how to maximize sale prices during the COVID Era. A broker is a key player in understanding and preparing your business to sell in its best condition. Added attention to better business practices during COVID-19, coupled with a broker, your business can appeal to a broader audience and mean a better deal for you. With services such as business valuation, financing, and business planning, a business broker has the tools to help your business result in the most successful sale.
Aaron Thom Sunbelt Business Advisors