The COVID-19 pandemic has become the most significant health crisis we have seen in our lifetimes. Individuals have been encouraged to stay-at-home and non-essential businesses have been forced to close their doors for the health and safety of our communities. This pandemic has not only had an impact on health, but the economy as well. For many business owners, COVID-19 has caused uncertainty and stress, leaving them questioning their ability to reopen after the virus is eliminated. To help, our team is offering up tips businesses can implement to help recover after a crisis.
Think About Your Customers
No matter the type of crisis your business is facing, it is critical to always think about your target audiences. Their perceptions, thoughts and pain points need to be considered in order to better address their specific challenges and worries. For example, during the COVID-19 crisis, your customers may be worried about working from home, travel restrictions, financial security or having essential supplies. As a business, it is important to think about how you can be helpful and address specific pain points they are facing. For example, our team had a system in place that allowed employees to work efficiently from home way before the COVID-19 outbreak began. Therefore, when we noticed customers struggling to adapt to working from home, we provided tips and methods they could put in place to make the transition easier. Thinking about your customers and addressing their concerns will not only make their lives easier, but builds trust and brand loyalty in the process. Then when the crisis passes, these audience members will remember your company and what you did for them!
Communication with your target audiences is key during and after a crisis. Just because your business is closed, or may only serve customers online, does not mean you should stop fostering those relationships. During and after a crisis, it is critical to communicate with your target audiences to provide updates and changes to your normal business operations.
While communication is important during this time, it’s equally important to remember individuals are sensitive and stressed. Therefore, it is critical your messaging is in good taste to maintain a strong relationship with your audience members. Business is not usual and reviewing social media calendars to make sure messaging fits the times is critical. When reaching out, email marketing is a good avenue during a crisis because not only does it allow customers to open the email and read it on their own time, but it also provides the opportunity to get the messaging right and have it reviewed prior to sending if needed.
Embrace New Tools & Software
Amid a crisis, it is necessary to be flexible and adapt to changes. This includes embracing new tools and software. As we have learned throughout the COVID-19 pandemic, having an online presence is essential, especially when individuals are required to stay-at-home and businesses are shut down. After the crisis is eliminated, some individuals may still take preference to new channels they learned to use while in quarantine, so it is important your business consider implementing them if they increase efficiency and production.
At GRIT, we use Zoom or Microsoft Teams for our team and client meetings. We also have a project management system to easily coordinate projects as well as Box as our cloud based server and Slack for inter team conversations. These four tools have been critical at keeping projects on time and our team connected.
Other tools to consider include Qualtrics, which is an experience management platform that is used to create, distribute and analyze surveys. During and after a crisis, this tool can be used to assess the well-being of employees and customers. Plus, in response to COVID-19, Qualtrics is offering free solutions for businesses.
Another resource that is providing free services during this time is Mailchimp, which offers a variety of tools, such as domains, websites, enewsletters, landing pages and social media campaigns so you can reach your target audience online. If you are a small business looking to do more online, check out Mailchimp now. Until May 31, they are providing small businesses with free five-year custom domains to help brick-and-mortar businesses move online.
Prepare for Post-Crisis Demand
As COVID-19 restrictions are lifted and individuals are allowed to return to their daily activities, it is possible demand for your company’s products or services will increase. As a business, it is critical to evaluate your services and strategically plan for an increase in demand after this crisis passes. Having a plan in place for how you will conduct business and serve many customers will set your company up for success and help you recover after the crisis.
We are in this together and GRIT is here to help your business any way we can. From developing crisis communications, to making recommendations on digital tools, to crafting strategic marketing plans, we are here and ready to help your business continue to succeed even after COVID-19. Connect with us today to learn more about how we can help you during this time!