During these uncertain times, many businesses have been forced to close. As nobody yet knows when the present restrictions on certain business operations may be lifted, a lot of people may find their clients and customers worried or confused as to when they may be able to purchase particular goods or services again.
Whether people are missing having a drink at their favourite bar, waiting to book in their next massage, looking forward to heading to the cinema again, or any number of other restricted activities, there is an opportunity here for businesses to set up key communication channels with their customers, to foster customer satisfaction, customer loyalty, and hopefully maximise revenue when it is safe to resume trading.
We’ve put together a quick guide on 4 ways that website owners can maintain good communication with their clients and customers. Without further ado, we’ve laid them all out below!
- Create An Email Waiting List For Reopening Updates
A great idea for businesses is to set up a waiting list form on their websites that customers can sign up to. Then, when any updates occur within your relevant industry, you can keep your awaiting customers informed. Customers can then rest assured knowing they will be notified immediately upon your reopening. This communication should also lead to increased bookings upon the resumption of trade, helping your business to get back on its feet as quickly as possible.
Building up your mailing list at this time will also provide the future benefit of promotional opportunities. Always ensure you are transparent with what you intend to send to your subscribers, however, and offer them a way to unsubscribe. To be compliant with certain countries (such as those who impose GDPR), you may also need to include checkbox disclaimers which customers must accept for the subscription form to be privacy compliant.
You could also allow customers to opt into a follow-up phone call as soon as you have confirmed your reopening dates so that you can get in touch with them right away and schedule in bookings/appointments/deliveries etc.
- Incentivise the Purchase of Future Goods or Services
If you are a small business which has been forced to close, the sudden loss of all income can be rough. Something that we are seeing a few businesses consider is the incentivisation of sales now for future services or products. For example, a beauty therapist or hairdresser may offer online gift cards via their website at 10-20% off during the COVID-19 lockdown. It would also be considerate to offer an extended expiry time of an extra 12 or so months for those gift cards to be used.
With this idea, customers can spend money with your business now by purchasing discounted gift cards on your website, which brings in immediate income for you, while also ultimately giving the customer a discount when they use this credit on your full-price services or products once you reopen. It’s a win for both sides!
Selling gift cards essentially creates a contract between you and your customers, locking in loyalty and binding customers and businesses together.
- Website Notices
It would be a good idea right now to place a sitewide notice on your website, either explaining how your business is impacted by COVID-19, or at least providing a link to a full post or page outlining any changes in operation that you’re presently experiencing.
Making it quick and easy for customers to know what’s happening with your business will lead to ongoing trust and confidence in your business. In turn, this should maximise customer retention during any closures you may be going through.
- Social Media Notices
Similar to website notices, it’s a good idea to put conspicuous alerts on all of your social media platforms, to make it as easy as possible for your customers to stay up to date with how your business is tracking during lockdown. You may wish to overlay bold text on your chosen images for this particular type of update, so that they stand out on your feed even after you have published subsequent posts. This makes it easy for customers who may miss your posts to check back in at any time and find your most recent operational notice.
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