How to Communicate Business Changes to Your Customers During the COVID-19 Pandemic
- Posted by NoniShaney Cavaliere
- On April 24, 2020
- business communication, COVID-19 marketing, customer communication, digital marketing, Franchise Marketing, Local SEO, Social Media Marketing
The coronavirus pandemic has the world facing a lot of uncertainty right now, and many people are unsure of what the future will look like for their businesses. Many business owners are facing drastic changes in the way business is being conducted. These changes have affected everything from orders to close temporarily, a lack of customer traffic, and how to do business if able, and are all significant challenges to face.
The continuously changing business scenario means that information online may become outdated quickly, leaving customers confused and causing you to miss opportunities to conduct business that are crucial at this time. Now more than ever, it is critical that you take a proactive approach to update your customers with any changes to your business.
Update Your Google My Business Listing Right Away
Your Google My Business listing is commonly the first thing someone will see when they search for a business online. Most people use these listings to check business hours, contact information, reviews, and of course, Google Maps. Many companies are pivoting right now, so you should make sure to update your GMB page immediately with any changes you are making so that your customers are aware of your latest offerings. Here are some examples of why to update your GMB listing:
● Your restaurant is pivoting to offering delivery only during limited hours
● Your store is available for curbside pickup for specific times
● You are only offering online delivery currently
● Your business is temporarily closed or has new operating days
● Updating your listing makes sure you don’t leave your customers wondering why you aren’t answering when your listing says you are open
Being transparent and responsive to your customers can go a long way at this time. Helping your business to stay involved in the community and putting your business in a more secure position once things return to normal.
Use The Google My Business Posting Feature
While keeping your local listings up to date is essential, you should also make sure to utilize the other features Google My Business has to offer to reach your customers.
Here’s why now is the time to utilize the posting feature;
● These posts stay live for up to two weeks
● They are perfect for updating your customers with details such as what your business is doing to protect your customers’ and employees’ health, alerting customers of temporarily closing, new products or services being offered, and other essential information
● Google has enabled a unique COVID-19 posting option. These posts should be focused on critical COVID-19 details related to your business. They will be displayed prominently at the top of the Google My Business listing and last for the same two-week timeframe as regular GMB posts.
Though some limitations have been put into place regarding leaving and responding to reviews, Google My Business posting is still available. While it has always been valuable, it is currently the best means of communication possible through the GMB platform.
Be Active on Social Media
With a stay at home order and work from home policies in place, people are spending a lot more time on social media, and if you have been lax about updating your social platforms, now is the time to get everything up to date. Social media is great way to keep your customers informed of any changes to your business. Still, it also presents an opportunity to engage with them on a personal level. Keeping a positive and reassuring presence is helpful to safeguard against alienating your customers when making changes to your business. Additionally, social media allows your customers to comment and ask questions, presenting further opportunities to engage with them and to keep them informed. With limits placed on Google’s review functionality, replying to comments and messages has become even more critical. It shows your customers that you are invested in your community and care to keep them informed.
Harness Power of The Press Release
You can gain media attention even during this coronavirus pandemic for your business. One press release can reach thousands in your region or millions nationally. The media is looking for nonpolitical stories to tell right now, it’s time to add your business to the conversations.
A press release can do phenomenally well – why?
• Newsworthiness, the media is especially looking for human interest stories right now around how businesses are surviving or not during the pandemic.
• Easy to understand, right now consumers are looking for easy to follow news about their area businesses or online shops, so they are informed about where to go for purchasing needs.
• Positive stories, for example, helping restaurants’ staff, the media is especially interested in anything positive coming out of the pandemic. Time to tell your story!
• Making a difference is important; this is a time when charity or community activity is essential to talk about. How is your business lending a hand in the community right now? The media wants to hear from you.
Update Your Website and Company Blog
While updating the business hours on your website in an environment where they are shifting and subject to change at any moment may be unrealistic. Your website should be updated with any long-lasting changes, such as temporary closures or different products or services being offered. This will help to prevent site visitors from losing confidence when they see outdated information. If you have a company blog, make sure to share information there as well. Engaging with your customers, wherever they are, is key to keeping them informed of important changes to your business.
V Digital Services to Keep Your Business Connected to Your Customers
Running a business during a pandemic is challenging and time-consuming, and you may have understandably put off updating your information for COVID-19. Consider hiring a professional team to manage your digital marketing needs, freeing up your time to take care of your business and employees. Contact us today for more information or to schedule a consultation.