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Using Customer Communication to Guide Your Reopening
As lockdown measures are slowly lifted, businesses around the country are asking themselves the same question: how and when can we reopen safely and successfully? Knowing the right time to reopen will depend largely on your industry and location, however, understanding how your customers’ concerns can help inform your strategy.
Marketing is all about knowing your customers, which is why it is crucial that you keep them in mind as you plan your reopening. Being authentic in your messaging will show customers how much you value them and their input.
It’s inevitable that they will have plenty of questions right now, so here is how to address their concerns about the pandemic and the future of your business.
Think About You Can Do Right Now
Maintaining consistent and relevant communication with customers while planning your reopening will be the key to maintaining their health, happiness and the profitability of your business.
Until you have a clear date in which to reopen, your customers’ immediate needs should be at the forefront of your policy. Consider what would benefit them most right now, whether that’s a reduced service, discounts on essential products, or just regular updates.
Anything you can do to alleviate their concerns or meet their needs now, will help retain their loyalty for your eventual relaunch. A good way to get a handle on your customers’ needs is simply by listening. Ask your customers what they expect from your business in the coming weeks. Emails, surveys or a simple social media post can be used to gather ideas on what precautions your business can take upon reopening.
Once you understand what your customers need from you, you can plan towards a phased return. A return can look like a lot of things, ranging from increased deliveries to click and collect or to a fully reopened brick and mortar location.
There is no one size fits all solution and you’ll need to form a plan that is unique to your situation, while also flexible enough to respond to changing guidelines. It’s important to remember that while some customers will be eager to ease up on social distancing practices others remain reluctant. Having a strong communication plan in place will help your business cater to all its customers.
People are more likely to engage with businesses they feel confident in, so by taking the time to empathetically address customers from all perspectives you can maximise business as you move towards reopening.
Share exactly how they can safely do business with you right now, and the steps you will take towards ensuring their safety upon reopening. By sharing detailed information on social media, your website and through real-time communications, you can alleviate any uncertainty around the customer experience.
Reopening will be more than a restart; it will be a new era for your business. Businesses won’t immediately return to normal operations and what your customers may want from you going forward will not be the same as it was before the pandemic.
Therefore, it is crucial that your operations, leaders and workforce remain flexible. Keep all social distancing options such as curbside pick up, video calls, and deliveries operational for those who need it as you move towards a full reopening. Try to use this new opportunity to grow and evolve your business.
Now is a great time to rethink and improve operations. Working on immediate challenges may even lead to better ways of doing business, the key is to embrace change and go where customer demand takes you.
Once it is time to reopen you should adopt a ‘people first’ plan of action. It is not enough to mitigate health and economic risks, you must also help customers and employees to feel emotionally secure about this next step.
Start by detailing step-by-step what your new in-person customer experience looks like on social media, on your website, and on storefronts. This will help prepare customers and workers for the ‘new normal’.
Make a list of questions and concerns that you will need to address, communicate the answers online and brief employees on the correct in-person response. Announce your opening including a date, the updated hours, safety precautions and a contact number on all your communication channels. Lastly, do not forget to update your Google My Business profile.
For further advice on ways to let your customers know you’re reopening look to our back in business blog here.
Get in Touch
The secret to a safe and successful reopening is putting your customers first. Practice clear communication and remain flexible to reinvention with the help of a professional marketing strategy. \
Get in touch today for a creative and cost-effective marketing plan to boost your business recovery.