As we move back to a weird kind of normal, many businesses are looking to open their doors and start trading. We all understand how important it is to tell our customers that we are open and trading, but is that enough?
Right here, right now, there is a lot of online clutter and confusion and in amongst it all, we need to set up lines of communication with our customers to get them back and buying as soon as possible. What exactly do we need to do?
Yes, for starters we need to do everything we can to let our customers know we are open and trading and for this, we need a combination of old school and new school strategies. Hang the shingle, put out the “NOW OPEN” sign and tell everyone you pass on the street that your business is back up and running. At the same time, take to social media, your website and even direct email to let both your existing customers and potential new customers know that you are open.
We then need to start sharing some other messages. The first of these is to let everyone know what is different in your business. Have your trading hours changed, what aren’t you selling anymore, are their limits on what people can buy or how you actually trade (for example vets are getting customers to wait in their cars and they come out and get your pet for treatment)?
Next, we have to tell people what is the same, what is actually pretty much normal and which of their old favourites are for sale again. From here, share your personal story about how you and your business have weathered to COVID storm. And last but not least, talk about the future, your plans and what you are hoping to achieve in your business in the coming months.
Each of these messages needs to be shared however possible, via both old school and new school methods. They are all important and serve specific needs for us and our customers. And remember, we get tired of hearing our marketing messages long before our customers get tired of hearing them. This means you have to repeat them. You can’t do one social media post and assume everyone has seen it and now knows you are open. We need to be increasing our communication, but not bombarding our customers with information.
This is a critical time for all small businesses. How we communicate, what we say and how often we say it are all vitally important. And remember, your customers actually want to hear from you. They want to know that things are getting back to some kind of normal because it is comforting and reassuring and that’s what we need right now.
Saying you are open once in an email is a start, but there is a lot more that you can and should be doing. The sooner you get those customers coming back through the doors of your business the sooner you can get back to making money, being productive and feeling more positive about the future.