Across the US, businesses have had to endure a wide range of restrictions during the pandemic, from closing their doors completely to severely reduced capacity. This resulted in some going out of business, or relying on the generosity of their communities to stay afloat until things improved.
Now as restrictions are being lifted across the country, it is important for businesses to get back in front of their customers to begin their own road to recovery. However, there are 5 things that every business can do to quickly attract and retain customers even after being shut down for an extended period of time.
Notify existing customers you are open and ready to serve them. As many consumers are still working from home, it’s important to go beyond putting a sign out in front of a business stating you are open. To truly connect with existing customers, leveraging email, SMS and paid advertising will be essential to getting the word out quickly. Previous customers are the easiest people to get back in the door as they already know who you are and what you offer. As word of mouth advertising is an essential part of business today, these individuals will be essential for letting others know in your community you are open and ready to serve them.
Update online hours of operation.
This step can easily be overlooked by businesses returning to normal operations. However, most consumers utilize hours of operations listed on sites such as Google & Yelp to determine where they will go and spend their hard earned dollars at. If consumers see information that you are closed when in fact you are open, they will most likely not travel to your business. It is a very quick and easy process to update your information online, and can make the difference between someone doing business with you or with someone else.
Create a contest to get people talking about your business.
Contests have been used in businesses large and small to attract new customers as well as increase visits from existing ones. They can be as simple as customers referring new clients to you, or more complex to ones involving people sharing pieces of content on social media to earn points. The key to running a successful contest is to have a set of prizes people want.
Create experiences for customers.
Many consumers have not done anything outside of the home other than grocery shopping for almost a year, meaning they will be craving for an experience. It can be as simple as a restaurant having a luau night, or a book store having a book reading event. The goal is to create an event resulting in people talking about your business online and offline to increase exposure. The more you are able to stay in front of them the more likely they will be to frequent your business.
Promote within your community.
The majority of people who are venturing out from their homes will do so within a short radius of where they live. This is why it’s essential for people to know who you are and what you do. One of the most effective ways to accomplish this is to utilize paid advertising as you can target the specific people you want to reach. For example, did you know that you can run video commercials on digital tv platforms such as ROKU for as little as $5 a day? There are a wide variety of ways you can reach the people in your community, the key is to make sure that they know you are open, and have something unique to offer them.
The above mentioned methods will allow businesses to begin attracting the customers they need to get back to pre-covid revenue levels. The most important thing is to take action, as customers have been waiting to get back out into the world, the question is will they use your business or someone else’s.