Written By NaviPay Blog Contributor: Suzanne Davis
Coastal Business Evolution, LLC
According to the Small Business Administration, in 2018 Florida had 2.5 million small businesses which accounted for 99.8% of all the businesses and 42.2% of all employees in the state. A small business is considered 500 employees or less. Micro-businesses are those that have few than 10 employees with revenue under $250,000 and account for 75.3% of all private-sector employees in the United States. Whether you are a micro-business or a small business, communicating with your customers in today’s business climate is more important than ever.
What, when, and how you communicate to your customer base is vital for success as you navigate uncertainty. Regardless of the possible restrictions, keeping your clients informed and engaged with information relevant to them builds and maintains loyalty that will get you through this time and beyond.
What you say can go a long way to connecting your brand to your customers. Let’s face it, we are getting negative info overload about the pandemic and it does have an impact on how we all operate our businesses. When it comes to communicating with your customers, try to avoid negativity leaving out the chaos that is the pandemic and provide info that is relevant and timely to the customer. Information that they need and perceive as valuable to their current situation. Some great examples would be:
Some businesses have altered their hours (some not by choice but because of restrictions) let your customers know those hours, in addition, including how they can reach you by phone or email if they have questions about coming to your business.
Are you offering any great deals such as special discounted services, new menu items if you are a restaurant, curbside delivery, anything that will make your customer take notice, and make them want to do business with you?
What you are doing to make them feel safe. Keep it simple and positive. It can be as brief as we are adhering to all CDC Guidelines. You know your clientele, if you feel they need more detail, do so. Whatever reassures them.
What else is new? Not hours, not procedures, but something that you have decided to do differently with your business during this crazy time. Examples:
- Restaurants offering take out family meal specials
- A boutique that is now offering stylish face coverings that they never carried before
- An auto repair shop offering full cleaning and sanitizing after a repair
- Maybe you have started a “business within your business”- a local pizza restaurant offering a kit to make pizza at home or a restaurant providing a recipe and kit with all the ingredients for a signature dish
- A local gym’s new virtual online class schedule
A call to action. Once you have shared your good news, also include a reason for them to do business with you or an invitation for them to come into your business.
Share any articles, news items, or facts that are relevant to your industry that will positively influence your client to do business with you.
Finally, if you already have a loyal customer base that wants you to grow and thrive, do not underestimate the power of asking them for “help” which makes them even more invested in your business. Examples of help might be:
Like our service/meal/product, please review us on google, yelp, our website
Please like/follow us on and include your social media channels
Post about us on your social media with a photo of our products
When is easy—as soon as you have a new change or new information that is important for your customer to know. Or to further your following and customer loyalty, set up a regular communication schedule with your clients.
How do you communicate quickly and on a budget? Now more than ever it is important to utilize online and digital tools. Use your website first and foremost. This is the first stop for communicating any new information that we mentioned above. The next stop is all of your social media channels, Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc. Have you considered video? YouTube offers a free video builder that is easy to use.
Finally, keep in mind the value of communicating directly to your customers in their inboxes. Many small businesses have taken the time to capture email addresses and then never fully utilize them. Now is the perfect time to create and send email newsletters and offers directly to you customer list utilizing an automated email platform.
Communication across multiple digital platforms doesn’t have to be chaotic! A one-stop shop to not only create professional email newsletters, build a website, and also manage your social media in Constant Contact. It is simple to use and your first month is free! If you feel strapped for time and the thought of creating content terrifying? Reach out to a Constant Contact Certified consultant to request assistance in getting started or managing your messaging for you!
Communication minus the chaos keeps you connected to your best customers as we ride the waves of the day to day changes that the pandemic may present!