The outbreak of COVID-19 still impacts our day to day lives. Many brands have discovered that their digital presence is now more important than ever before, with social media and internet usage at an all-time high.
Staying engaged with your customers and on top of your digital presence is critical at a time like this when people will be forgetting a lot of brands. Maintaining your brand’s presence could be crucial to a smooth transition when lockdown ends and life slowly begins to resume to normal.
The time to plan for recovery is before the recovery itself.
You don’t want to be that business that starts planning the night before you’re about to re-open. When activity rebounds and your competitors get back into the game, it will then be too late to develop & plan your strategy and more expensive to implement it.
Planning allows you to nurture relationships with your customers, explore shifting changes in their behaviour, interests and allows you to execute your strategy with ease.
Also, it could well be that consumers emerge from the crisis with very different priorities, values and attitudes – all of which could impact how they want to spend their time and money.
People will remember which brands were active during this difficult period. Which businesses continued to offer them content, messages, incentives and advice? This is why it is important to stay connected with your customers.
Social media allows you, as a business, to gather useful insights into your customers and their behaviour. You’ll be able to see what content proved popular. You’ll be able to spot any shifts and tailor content ready for when the recovery starts.
The goal is to retain your customers. When lockdown ends, people will be sceptical about doing business with brands that they have not heard of or interacted with in the past, for a while. This means your customers will be looking to you to provide the honest, familiar experience that you do.
This also could be a good time to showcase new products and services, which could provide your customers with more of an all-rounded experience, meaning they won’t have to venture out elsewhere to get the same thing. We don’t mean filling your store with every household product under the sun. For example, if you’re selling perfume, you might want to look into offering diffusers and fragrances for the home.
Improving your digital presence
This means your website will need to improve. Whether it is loading speeds, mobile responsiveness or a general refresh. Users will have visited a lot of similar websites during the lockdown, which could leave your website at the bottom of their pecking order.
User experience is important and people sometimes settle solely on this. If a website is easy to use, secured with SSL and offers functionality it could be the reason they complete their booking or transaction with you over a competitor.
Over 50% of websites in most industries are viewed on mobile devices. So if you’re website is not optimised for multiple devices you could potentially lose out on sales.
It is very likely that shopping online will become increasingly popular due to people developing an interest in it during the lockdown. The ease of a few clicks, paying online without the need for cash and getting your items delivered in a few days, will have certainly made a lot of peoples lives easier.
Remember your competitors are also recovering from the lockdown, so do whatever you can to separate yourself and give people a reason to do business with your brand.
What do customers want?
Most businesses follow strict guidelines when it comes to hygiene and service. This will probably have been updated to follow even more thorough guidelines, during the outbreak. This will need to be maintained. People expect it to. So ensure your following and maintaining the measures which you should already have in place.
Remember when the recovery starts, we were all in the fight against COVID-19 together. It will be something that we remember for the rest of our lives, it has affected every single person, some of us who have lost loved ones and others who have been through financial difficulty as a result of it. Special offers and discounts can go a long way when we slowly resume normality. The fact that brands will lend you a helping hand to ensure things return as they were, shows how much they value their customers.
Why not ask them? You’ve got social media at your fingertips. A platform that allows you to communicate with your customers through multiple channels. Start a question or poll and ask them yourselves. You might get some answers which you think will be easy to implement and will help your customers a lot.
If you or anyone you know has a business and is struggling to deliver their products or service, please feel free to get in touch via firstname.lastname@example.org and a member of our team will be happy to assist you.