We are still in the middle of a crisis. The life we initially referred to as “normal” is now crowded with confusion and uncertainty. The pandemic has changed our behavior. People are under restrictions, and this has changed how businesses operate.
Customer attitude and behavior has changed. It is no longer business as usual and companies are struggling to keep up with the latest trends. We expect the change in customer behavior to continue post-COVID-19 lockdown, and the success of your business will depend on the plans you make today.
While some companies are sitting down and waiting to see what happens, your focus should be on building a strategic, post-COVID-19, business acceleration plan. If your office is back open, get in that meeting room and sit around that mobile whiteboard to brainstorm ideas or if everyone is working remotely get on a collaborative zoom call to work it out.
Your recovery plan can include a digital marketing strategy that encourages current and future business continuity. It’s true that most businesses are suffering during this pandemic, but it is also true that companies, without a digital backbone, are the hardest hit. Customer behavior is changing, and so should your marketing strategies.
To ensure business continuity post-COVID-19 lockdown, your focus should be on tracking customer behavior and how to thrive in a post-crisis world. It would help if you had an excellent plan for this, and here is what you should keep in mind before you reopen your business.
Balance Customer Expectation and Business Goals
Stellar customer services are helping most businesses stay afloat during this pandemic. It is expected that excellent customer services will also help scale your business after reopening. Businesses need customers, and customers come with diverse needs. To ensure you get a balance between your business goals and customer experience, you must understand customer needs.
You can interpret customer needs by analyzing text information on online platforms. Monitor customer care emails, phone calls, and service chats to determine what people are saying about your brand. Carry out a sentiment analysis to understand customer expectations post-COVID-19.
After collecting the information, create a reopening guide for your business. The guide can help determine the product and services that your business can and cannot deliver. It will act as a middle ground and ensure you meet business goals and satisfy your customers. By creating a balance, you build trust and provide a steady reopening and continuity of your business.
Check Online Reviews
Listen to your customers. It is said that your most profitable customers are those that keep coming back. To ensure you understand how they feel and their expectations after lockdown, monitor online reviews.
Observe the negative, positive, and neutral comments keenly. Make sure that negative reviews are addressed immediately. For the positive and neutral reviews, acknowledge the senders and make them feel most valued in your business.
You can also monitor what customers say about your place. Is it clean? Do you need more sanitizing booths? Are customers practicing social distancing? All these things matter now more than they did before. If customers complain about your business now, it will be challenging to retain and attract leads after reopening.
Make Your Online Presence Strong and Customer-friendly
The fear surrounding COVID-19 is not something that will fade away soon. Even after reopening, customers will be cautious of the places they visit and the people they meet. Many customers may still rely on online shops for products and services.
To grow your online sales business, build a strong and customer-friendly digital presence. The demand for online commodities is high, and you need to be found after every search. Build your social media accounts, websites, and other online platforms and optimize them for search engines. Make sure that when your audience searches for a product or services that you offer, your name appears at the top of the list.
Stay ahead of the competition and start your online campaigns before the reopening. Search Engine Optimization takes 3-4 months to deliver results, and you need to start early to build a profitable audience. Explore everything that can build your brand and do not be afraid to take risks.
Remember that building your online presence through content creation, podcasting, guest blogging, video marketing, or other digital marketing strategies could be the big breakthrough your business needs post-COVID-19 lockdown.
Stay Laser-focused on the Local Area
Since the beginning of the pandemic, local businesses have been experiencing tremendous growth. People are finding it easy to visit and purchase from their local grocery or local technician rather than visiting the next town. Customers care for their safety and are avoiding the risk of contracting the virus through the commute.
If you have had thoughts of building your local business network in the past, then this is the right time to do it. Customers are already supporting local businesses, and it’s pretty easy to build trust right now. You can show local customers that you care by being part of community events. Offer support where it matters, and when the government finally lifts lockdowns, your neighborhood will be your greatest business asset.
Imagine a COVID-19 world without technology. Now reshape your thoughts and think of the technological opportunities that surround us. While most industries are struggling to stay afloat, technologies are doing far much better and growing daily. Businesses are shifting from the usual office spaces to remote work and virtual meetings.
The developments are tremendous. They enable businesses to carry on with normal business operations without interruptions. But even with such growth, such developments have a fair share of challenges – managing operations.
When everyone works remotely, it’s tough to manage how employees manage their time. You are likely to have delays in project delivery or have the work not being done at all. That’s why for every technological advancement you consider, you need a plan on how to integrate it with your business activities.
The use of effective technologies, during this pandemic, can boost productivity, improve employee interactions, ensure business continuity, and help drive higher economic growth. Zoom, Google Rooms, and Microsoft Teams are essential for the present and future scaling of the business.
Consider your Employees
When the government finally lifts the restrictions, and people get back to work, the biggest worry will be how to keep them safe so they can serve you and your customers better. While some companies can ultimately work remotely, some need in-house employees to be available at the premises.
If your business interacts with customers daily, think of the safety measures to implement around the workplace. Consider having enough hand washing booths and maintain a safe social distance among people. You can create a work schedule that ensures a minimal number of people are in the workstation at any given time. If possible, reduce the work hours, so there is less interaction between employees.
Covid-19 has affected our social, technical, and economic lives. It is no longer business as usual, and it may take some time before things return to normal. If your business is focussing on the future, you can explore ways of ensuring business growth post-COVID-19 lockdown. The best way to prepare for the reopening is to foresee all possible case scenarios and be ready to address them.
- Businesses need to have a post-COVID-19 reopening plan.
- A business, with a strong online presence, has a better chance of surviving the crisis.
- Companies need technology to ensure business continuity.
- Stay focussed on your local area and grow your network.
- Protect your employees so they can protect your business.
Kshitij is a digital marketer and owner of a digital marketing agency, Dintellects Solutions. His focus lies in developing strategies to improve brand presence, with reliable marketing services that help businesses to strategize and execute result-focused and data-driven marketing. You can find him spending time with his pet, playing cricket, or spending time with friends and family.