7 Ways Businesses Can Survive the COVID-19 Slow-Down

In a mere matter of weeks, COVID-19, AKA Coronavirus, has caused major upheaval to our everyday lives here in Florida, across the United States and the world. People are panicking as the hysteria created by media is on the rise, and statistics become increasingly grim every day.

So how can small businesses thrive and survive during this Coronavirus slow-down? By stepping-up community outreach efforts via email marketing campaigns and other online methods, small business owners can successfully navigate the Coronavirus public health crisis through communication with customers that they are open for business and taking extra measures to safely serve their local community.

Here are 5 ways small businesses can thrive and survive during the abrupt COVID-19 slow-down:

  1. Stay in touch with your customers about safety. Most businesses have a customer information database that can easily be used as an audience for email campaigns. For example, retail businesses that utilize services like Clover, Square and other credit card processors, capture email addresses when receipts are digitally sent to customers, thereby generating a database that can be used for email marketing. Email campaigns are a fantastic way to safely connect with customers and potential customers to explain about the sanitizing measures being implemented by your business to safeguard them and employees; as well as alerts about changes in hours-of-operation, hard-to-find products, special promotions, etc.
  2. Get your business on the map. Whether it’s Google Maps, Bing or Apple Maps, you want to make sure your business information is accurate and readily available for customers on these channels. When a potential customer goes in search of products or services your business offers locally, don’t just pray your business listing will come up in the first page of search results. Through a properly executed search engine optimization (SEO) campaign, you can make sure it does.
  3. Offer Gift Certificates. Customers are exercising #socialdistancing from restaurants, healing spas, yoga studios, gyms, coffee shops, movie theaters, travel companies and other retail stores. It makes it challenging for local mom-and-pop-owned businesses, who rely on regular cash flow, not to have a regular flow of customers. Therefore, if you don’t already do so, start offering gift certificates to your customers, even at a reduced rate (i.e. $100 gift card offered at $80) to increase cash flow. Regular customers will love the idea, because they can use gift certificates at a future date. To make things even easier, offer the option to purchase the gift certificate through your website so it’s extra-easy for customers to continue doing business with you.
  4. Introduce the chat engine function to your website. In today’s world, people crave instant gratification. Adding a chat engine to your website allows customers to reach out quickly and get immediate answers. If monitoring chat messages is too daunting for busy small business owners, a staff member can monitor activity. If necessary, hire a staff member or an outside marketing company to assist. This can prove profitable if you happen to offer a product or service that is in high demand, because your sales will inevitably increase thanks to customers with the ability to promptly and efficiently interact with your business.
  5. Consider online events. There are many free or inexpensive platforms available online, like Zoom or FreeConference, where teleconferencing sessions can be scheduled and executed, in lieu of in-person trainings, meetings, etc. This is also a safe and efficient way to meet with customers to conduct certain aspects of business, including, product and service discussions or demonstrations. Teleconferencing is the next best thing to meeting in person during this public health emergency.
  6. Prepare a customer service plan. If, for some reason, customers can’t currently use a product or a service you provide, (i.e. a travel agency), prepare creative ways to extend offers, without imposing harsh changes, like penalties and cancellation fees, that can alienate consumers. With the right strategies in place, the customer experience can be a positive one, and they will be much less likely to harbor ill-will or grudges against you or your small business.
  7. Provide a complete list of answers for FAQs. FAQs, or Frequently Asked Questions, are a great way to present information about your products and services about which people inquire, all in one place on your website. This allows employees to better serve customers without their time being spent repeating the same answers to the same questions, over and over. Moreover, small business owners should regularly update their existing FAQs to meet the needs of the times.

During this COVID-19/Coronavirus public health emergency, it is crucial small business owners do everything possible to maintain visibility and communicate with customers frequently, safely and efficiently. Email campaigns, website updates, and savvy social media all play key roles in extending superior customer service, heightening consumer confidence, and improving profitability.

KallistoArt is here to help our local small businesses thrive and survive during this tumultuous public health crisis. As always, our team of professionals is ready, willing and available to assist small business owners with email marketing campaigns, existing website updates, new website development, search engine optimization [SEO], and more.

Contact KallistoArt today to learn more about how our team of experts can help your small business effectively and successfully communicate and connect with customers throughout Tampa Bay and beyond! (813)563-5321.