Lately many news stories, articles, and blogs (including ours) have focused on how customers can support their favorite small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. There’s no doubt that businesses are struggling during this time, so it’s only natural that service providers and the media would want to share as much helpful information as possible. However, we must not forget that the customers who support small businesses also have needs right now. Whether you’re a business owner, manager, employee, or customer, we are all people, and it’s important to put people first in times like these.
So, let’s shake up the narrative a bit. In this post, we’ll share some ways businesses can help their customers cope with the changes caused by COVID-19.
Table of Contents:
- Share Frequent Updates
- Update Business Information on Google
- Inform Customers of the Safety Measures You Are Taking
- Operate as Much as You Can
- Connect with Other Business Owners
Share Frequent Updates
As many businesses temporarily close their doors, your customers will be wondering if yours is still open. They will be searching for information they can trust, especially if they have to leave their home. Help them prepare to go out and get the essential things they need by frequently sharing updates about your business. Here are some ways you can do this:
- Send informational emails
- Post on social media
- Update your business phone voicemail message
- Build a page with information on your website
Click here to read more on the ways you can stay in touch with your customers during this time.
Update Business Information on Google
Unless they have your website bookmarked, it is likely that your customers will turn to Google for the information they need about your business. You can help them by keeping your Google business profile updated. Here are the sections you should be sure to update:
- Business Name
- You can temporarily edit your business name field to mention if you are offering curbside pickup, carry-out, or delivery services.
- Phone Number
- If you want your customers to be able to reach you from home, edit your current phone number on Google.
- Hours of Operation
- You can set temporary special hours or implement the “temporarily closed” button provided by Google if necessary.
Don’t forget to also update your business listings on websites such as Yelp, to make sure all your customers have the most accurate information.
Inform Customers of the Safety Measures You Are Taking
How is your business fighting back against COVID-19? You may be making an extra effort to disinfect high-touch surfaces, keeping a 6-foot distance between employees and customers, or even offering curbside pickup and delivery options. If you changed how you do business in any way, make sure you inform your customers. Not only will this focused communication show them that you are taking the situation seriously, but it will help them understand what to expect if they need to make a purchase or set an appointment.
Operate as Much as You Can
While some businesses are considered “essential” by the Department of Homeland Security, every business is essential to the people who work there and the customers who visit. Here are a few ways you can continue operations as much as possible for you and for your customers:
- Hold appointments or meetings via teleconference or video chat
- Offer curbside pickup or delivery services
- Take orders over the phone for shipping, pickup, or delivery
- Equip your website with a shopping cart feature for customers to place orders
- Focus on education and improvement during downtime
- Many companies are offering free or incredibly discounted educational services during this time. For example, check out Moz Academy for free courses to help you expand digital marketing for your business!
Connect with Other Business Owners
If you have no choice but to shut your doors during this time, you’re not the only one. Hundreds, if not thousands of small businesses across the United States can’t operate at all right now because of COVID-19 restrictions. When small businesses close, it affects everyone in the community. Why not take this time to check in with each other? Reach out to your customers and other small business owners in your area and just ask them how they’re doing. The answer may not be a positive one, but that’s okay. If we do our best to support one another, we’ll emerge on the other side of this pandemic with a stronger community; resolved to bounce back.
Above all, remember to support one another during this time. There are so many things we can do to help each other, and it all matters. So, take the time to make sure you send or post the information about your business that your customers need. This will not only help to improve your relationship, but it also helps them help you. If we all put people first, we’ll get through this together.
Check out our other blog posts for more information and resources to help you through COVID-19.