When the pandemic first spread and caused shutdowns in most areas of the United States, your focus may have been on your current customer base and reducing churn. Nearly every business type floundered while trying to find their footing and figure out how best to move forward. Business owners everywhere had to balance keeping their company afloat while protecting those relying on them for products and services.
According to a recent map by USA Today, the number of coronavirus cases is shrinking in most states, and governors are easing restrictions. Whether you’ve moved some of your sales online or are ready to hit the ground running, seeking new clients while keeping the ones you have is one of the best ways to grow your business in the last part of 2020.
As new customers buy from you, there are many ways you can reassure them you’re on top of things. Make it clear how you’re protecting them from the virus and what you’ll do to ensure you’re there for the long haul. Here are five ways of welcoming new customers during a global pandemic.
1. Recognize the Crisis
Don’t just ignore that there is a major health crisis going on. Post clear signage sharing what you’re doing to ensure your employees and customers stay safe. Make it clear you’re aware of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines and are even going above and beyond what the local government requires and what the CDC recommends.
Pearl Street Taphouse makes it clear it’s offering a safe way to enjoy its food. When you land on the homepage, you’ll notice the large typography stating you can pick food up via curbside or have it delivered. It also says it’s open and serving at 75% capacity, which goes along with local guidelines.
2. Match Visitor Expectations
When people visit your website, they’re likely trying to find out what your hours are and if you’re following guidelines to protect them. For many months, there was uncertainty about which businesses were open and what their hours were.
Meet your target audience’s expectations by listing the info most desired in an easy location, such as the top bar on the page or in the sidebar. You could also feature a scrolling marquee informing users of any changes to hours if they should make a reservation or other details they want to know.
Pay attention to the questions your customers ask when they phone you. These are clues to what you might not cover on your website and should.
3. Highlight No-Contact Service
People most at risk from COVID-19 may be frightened to go to a store. One thing you can do to reassure new customers is to highlight your policies and the precautions you take to keep them safe. Do your technicians wear masks? Do you offer no-contact delivery? Outline the ways you offer your products and services to protect the most vulnerable.
Scarboro Garage Doors adds a note it offers no-contact service and online payment options. You can get your door fixed without ever making contact with another person, which relieves the worries of elderly and immune-compromised customers. They may not have dealt with the company before, but they can rest assured they’ll be safe because of the technicians’ diligence.
4. Offer Emotional Support
People are trapped at home in many cases. More employees work remotely, kids are e-learning and everyone is going stir crazy. 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone. Emotions run the gamut from being happy to spend more time with family and at home to desperate loneliness.
Be aware of who your demographic is. If most of your customers are single 20-somethings, they may feel particularly vulnerable right now. Reach out to new customers and ask how you can help ease the burden. Look for ways to connect you might not otherwise have thought of.
5. Write Directly to Consumers
Some businesses face unique challenges. Movie theaters not only have to deal with the fears patrons have about the virus spreading in a closed-in space, but they also have fewer movies than usual to push. Hollywood slowed release dates on many top box office hits.
Some companies may have trouble getting products or parts from overseas. Still other brands face worker shortages or logistics issues due to the pandemic. Taking the time to let your customers know what you’re doing to get past these issues can help new clients feel connected.
AMC Theaters announced its Safe and Clean plan to ensure movie-goers don’t have to worry about contracting the virus and can return. Although the letter went out to its movie club members, it was also posted on its website where anyone can view the details. AMC seems to understand it may gain new patrons looking for safer entertainment than some other chains provide.
Connect With Customers
People are home and have more time to focus on communication from the brands they use. Reach out to new people and show them how important they are to you, and they’ll likely become customers for life.
About The Author
Eleanor Hecks in the Editor-in-Chief of Designerly Magazine, an online publication dedicated to providing in-depth content from the design and marketing industries. When she's not designing or writing code, you can find her re-reading the Harry Potter series, burning calories at a local Zumba class, or hanging out with her dog, Bear.