Suffering in Silence     5 Tips to Show Your Customers You’re Still There

I walked through the streets of my local town yesterday and the only message I could see in each window was ‘Closed due to the COV-19 Virus’. A few had a number to call if you wanted to purchase something but written on a scribbled note. It felt like a Ghost Town and all the businesses had been closed down. Where were their owners? What was happening to their businesses? When would they return? There seemed to be a definite ‘Suffering in Silence’

Whilst I totally appreciate that a lot of business owners are worried about how they will get through the next few months paying suppliers, rent, staff and of course themselves; there will be ‘another side’ and we need to keep in touch with our Customers to let them know we are there for them now and definitely in future.

Lots of us own local businesses and therefore have great, very close relationships with our customers and to disappear completely they may even feel they have lost a ‘friend’. You may have been the only person they have spoken to all day and that is what brought them back again and again and told their friends about you too.

Customer Relations and Customer Retention are both essential at this time and here are 5 Tips to help you do this. Money is tight of course so of course most are FREE or low cost ideas:

  1. Your shop or business window. Again a few shops have just put up plain paper to cover items and prevent damage or theft. Why not put a few rainbows and pictures drawn either by local children during their extended school holidays or any of your own promotion posters? Put a nice message out to passers-by to thank them for previous business and look forward to seeing them in future. If you support the #StayIndoorsStaySafe Campaign put up a picture of you doing so.  Put up a Team Photo if appropriate. Brighten up the high street. What do you want to be remembered for? A disappearing act!
  2. Social Media Again a great FREE tool to keep in touch and whilst you have FREE time brush up your skills on Face Book, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. If you can sell online, but have not been doing so now could be the time to learn how to do so. Start small. Use local community networks to keep in touch and get involved. Beware of the gossip sites. If you have not already done so set up your own Face Book page and keep it busy. If you want more advice I am happy to help. Always remember the 1 in 3 rule-1 advert and 2 tips or nice photos.
  3. Great Press Releases Maybe you are supporting a local charity by donating food or offering your premises for the NHS or homeless. You could be offering free delivery services to certain group. Just shout out anything good you are doing or be assured your competition will. Check the local papers for what others are doing or what services people need and try to do at least something for your local community.
  4. Customer Relations Management. Again it is vital to keep in touch as much as possible with your customers and if you don’t already have a system in place I can highly advise you do so. I use one called Capsule which costs approx. £10 per month and is perfect for a small business. It offers you the opportunity to enter client’s data, tag them in relation to what service/items they buy and then stores it online. Also for data protection you can contact your customers via email using their BCC so other customers don’t see private emails. It is a great system and as it is online it doesn’t block up your computer space. For advice about Customer Relationship Management systems just send an email. The system is only as good as the data you put in it, but spend some time each day working on it and hey you have plenty of time!
  5. Advertising No Way that is crazy as we can’t sell anything or expect people to buy anything? Ok so advertising prices right now in local newspapers should be considerably cheaper for that reason. Look at what products you can offer and how you can supply them during this period then ensure you use the advert to let people know. Also as I stated in point 3, during this period you should be able to persuade the newspaper to offer some FREE Press release space to support your advert.  Think about a short period of diversification to help you get through this.  Just remember your brand needs to be consistent throughout.

I hope this article has helped give you some positive thoughts and if you want any help please email me at diane@marathon-media.co.uk

Thanks for reading

 

Diane

Note: I am aware that there are some of you concerned any form of commercial operation may cause an issue related to your Government COV-19 grant/payment, so it is worth a quick check online or with your accountant.