The original title of this blog was “Tips for Winning Back Customers After Social Distancing,” but the fact is that social distancing might be happening for another three months or another two years. In fact, we may have some of these regulations in place for long enough to change our culture far after they’re lifted.
It feels pretty far away to envision a time when we’re all crammed into foldable seats watching the Volvo Car Open, or rubbing shoulders while watching a Hootie & the Blowfish show, or enjoying some cold beers from a keg at the Highwater Festival.
While we long for those things, and hope that they’ll all continue in the coming years, this summer will definitely be changed. However, the city (and country) will re-open and when your industry is deemed safe, here are some great ways to win back customers.
Many businesses (especially retail) have created virtual sales experiences that range from FaceTiming with a personal stylist to virtual try-ons on Instagram Stories, to curbside service or contact-free delivery with free returns.
Just because these services were created out of necessity doesn’t mean that you should abandon them when it’s time to open your doors.
You’ve likely tapped into a larger audience by offering these services and when they have more financial security, they might want to spend some of it with you if you make it easy to do so. Take this as a lesson in broadening your appeal (and your horizons) and double down when you’re able.
There’s nothing like the feeling of loyalty. It’s like a long, virtual hug (which, coincidentally, in these times, is the best kind). So don’t be afraid to shout-out to those customers, partners and agencies who stuck it out with you when times got rough.
A lot of businesses had to furlough or lay-off their workforce indefinitely. If you’re one of the lucky ones who didn’t, be sure to give credit where credit is due.
This acknowledgement should also go to your team as well. Many workers are pulling late nights, learning how to Zoom more effectively, conducting meetings from their bedrooms and teaching kids at dining room tables. They deserve a lot of credit, and in doing so, you will show that not only your company is here for the long haul, but that you treat your employees with respect. It goes without saying that this attitude wins friends.
We know what you’re thinking, “I have to pay my bills. I have to keep my employees hired and happy. I can’t afford to slash prices.” We get it. But think of these discounts as a serious investment in the future. It doesn’t have to be some kind of blanket “20% off sale.” Get creative! Here are a few examples of promotions we love that won’t cost you too much:
OK; I’ll admit that this sounds like a shameless plug, but there’s nothing more cost-effective than digital. And there’s a lot more to the landscape than just Google Ads.
You can run effective Facebook ad campaigns with one or two objectives in the Charleston area for $750 ad spend per month. Trust us. We do it for a few of our clients!
It’s not all about a large advertising budget. It’s about knowing your audience and having the right strategy to deliver the right content.
Still not sure about carving out money for ads in 2020? There’s still a lot you can do organically. There’s a lot of opportunity in Instagram, Instagram Stories and even Facebook Stories. And if you’re really feeling fun, TikTok.
Although we have been suffering from tech addiction for a decade or so, the pandemic hasn’t been good for our screen time. The average person’s phone use is up 12% (we saw that stat and laughed) or 185%, depending on who you ask. And depending on how long this period of social distancing continues, it could become habit. It’s the perfect time for your brand to get consistent.
Wondering what in the world to put on these platforms and how to make it useful, fun and impactful? Matchstick Social can help!
This is a tough conversation to have with yourself and eventually your team, but the fact is that a lot of companies might not make it through COVID-19. If your business is one that is faced with slim margins, a scattered workforce, supply chain issues, shipping delays and hundreds of other business model problems, consider pivoting to a model that allows you to be more nimble in the coming months and years.
Allow yourself to think of the next disaster–without spiraling. Envision how you’d want to be better prepared next time.
Perhaps you have saved up three months of emergency funds so that you don’t have to cut salaries. Perhaps you have to defer salaries, but not furlough. Perhaps you can operate with fewer locations and a smaller, but stronger team. Perhaps you can invest in softwares and technologies that allow you to do more from wherever you are. In other words, what are the parameters that you can control and how can you control them better in the future?
Tough times can teach us a lot if we abandon fear long enough to let them.
Let us know how you’re doing out there, Charleston. We love you so much and we can’t wait to celebrate all your success in the future together. Maybe 6 feet apart.