In a slow moment imposed by quarantine there are still actions you can take to lay a strong foundation for survival now and being stronger for when quarantine ends.
Here are 4 ideas for how you can work ON your business to build a strong future:
Communicate with Customers
If you haven’t already – send an email and post on social media to check in to encourage and update customers. Focus on them and their needs! With your tone craft something you can give them to brighten their day or solve a problem. If you HAVE already sent one message, it’s ok to send another after a few weeks especially if you have FRESH encouragement and resources to provide.
Here are some good excuses to contact customers with value add:
Tell them you care and share a picture of your team working from home or a story of your team giving back.
Offer a free gift OR discount code to buy products that ship after the quarantine.
Offer a GOOGLE hangout, webinar or video about how to use your products at home in fun or creative ways.
Post a valuable Give-A-Way on social media to encourage engagement and fan participation. Repost photos you’re tagged in to build community connection, reminding them we’re #INTHISTOGETHER.
2. Update Method for Collecting Contact Information
It’s probably suddenly very obvious to you if you have an effective way to reach customers. Take a moment to review your processes on your website, at checkout, or in store to be 100% sure you have a clear and motivating OPT in option process. Then review the funnel or method you use to communicate with them to make sure you are adding value in the content you send out (not just selling products to serve your interests).
Ask yourself these questions to check what you could possibly need to fix:
Do you have a clear “OPT IN” collection system on your website OR at checkout when customers purchase products?
Are you giving them the option to receive email AND possibly text?
What value or incentives do you give for OPTING in? This could be a newsletter with tips on using your product, sale updates, Give-A-Ways or collecting points for frequent shippers. There are so many emails people receive, and you want people to be happy to hear from you.
Is customer information stored in ONE file or location, so it’s organized and clear?
Do you include an “OPT OUT” option (it’s legally required!) and are you confident that the list you use, has effectively removed those OPT OUT contacts?
If it’s possible your contact information is out of date, you can reach out to customers and ask them to update information.
Encourage them to follow or subscribe to the social media outlet you will be most active in. Don’t feel obliged to post on ALL platforms but focus on 1-2 to communicate regularly on as a minimum.
3. Improve Website Ease of Use and Clarity
After it’s built, it’s easy to forget to look at your website on the front and make revisions as their business evolves. When was the last time you updated your website and evaluated what visiting consumers will think when they arrive?
Using your critical eye, check these core areas:
GRAPHICS – Is your branding current and does it look good and in style? Should you update product photos or packaging artwork? Are photos of employees current? Do you have visual instructions for how to use your products?
CLARITY OF COMMUNICATION AND COPY – Does your current copy talk mostly about YOU or YOUR customer? What is your value to the end user? What problems do you solve? Why are you the best?
OFFERS – Do your current offers make sense given the current climate? Are there any NEW products or services you should offer? Or perhaps fresh ways of bundling existing products?
EASE OF USE – Is your website easy to use with clear navigation options and FEW requirements to click around for information? Is there a search function or category organization that help things move fast? You can also use a website like BrowserStack to quickly view on your site looks on mobile devices and screens.
4. Refresh Referral Site Information
Take a minute to think about where your customers are learning about your company. Review your profiles on those platforms the same way a customer would so you’re sure it all looks good AND the links work to effectively re-direct them to you. Click the links to make sure they are not broken, look at phone number information, make sure the branded information or product photos match your current website.
It is especially helpful to check customer review that might be live and very positive or very negative. If there are erroneous negative reviews, you can often request them be removed by the host site.
Alternatively, you can reply to them privately and offer to fix things in hope to improve their experience. If that doesn’t result in an improved review you can reply publicly with a gracious apology for their feelings and how you would like to fix it. Most people reading those replies will take it into consideration and discount a negative review
Go check out your company’s online presence on these platforms with a critical eye:
All of your social media platforms
If business is slow, don’t be discouraged or paralyzed with inaction. Consider it a great chance to improve 4 areas where you communicate with customers and build a stronger business moving forward. We will get through the difficult moments and come out stronger on the other side.
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MORE ABOUT EMILY PAGE
Emily Page has a Masters in Economics from the University of Southern California and 12 years of experience in selling consumer brand products in the food industry with packaging. She is the CEO and founder of Pearl Resourcing (http://pearlresourcing.net), an international brand and packaging design agency where she has launched multiple 7-figure brands into retail and e-commerce with 2-5x growth in sales. She also offers business growth consulting (http://emilyannepage.com) and free advice for product brand owners through START TO SOLD YouTube video channel.
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