With a year of the pandemic under your belt, you now have to operate with certainty in a very uncertain environment. In the changing scenario, when the government allows businesses to open again, you must be ready to sell as if Christmas was tomorrow, and communication will be a key component of your sales strategy.
In the middle of a pandemic, there’s nothing like too much communication about your business’ adherence to protocols. Safety will continue to be a concern for all. It is necessary for you to share as much as possible, as often as possible. They may have heard it before, but still, ensure the public understands how you will operate your business with covid19 restrictions – and communicate it everywhere, whether in-store, online or in traditional media.
Communication minimises human interactions while maximising sales
Customers will have lots of questions, so make the information easily accessible to them. Communicate several times. Don't make them scroll to read your covid19 update posts which were published two weeks ago. Facebook allows you to pin a post to the top of your page. LinkedIn added this feature to their pages seven months ago. You can also repeat the post. No worries. Your fans and connections won't be upset by the repetition.
• Use all channels available. Messenger apps, social pages, email, posters in your place of business.
• Update them on how you have changed purchasing process to accommodate their safety.
• Ask for feedback and respond with what you can do in the interest of all who took time to send feedback.
• Add listening channels. Allow your customers to contact you and listen to their concerns.
Communication using marketing
Now that you are not seeing your customers/clients frequently, more than ever, communication is key for you to stay top of mind when they are ready to buy what you sell. Marketing is more than telling your customers and audience what’s the deal of the month. Show them you care when you communicate with a listening ear. Use this lockdown time to re-evaluate how you grow your email list and how to stay relevant to their needs.
• Stay in touch with your customers. Don't wait for them to call you. Be nice and they will wait for their favourite store to open back for business instead of buying from your competitor.
• Keep the channels open. Who knows...with email marketing and messenger marketing you will actually find an easier and cost efficient way to bump up sales, collect feedback, faster customer relations responses and settling of issues, and really quick customer database growth. It is possible for you to reduce customer waiting time (on the phone) when you write your answers to frequently asked questions. Now is a great time to do this.
• Allow your customers/clients to communicate with you without you having to be stuck on the phone all day answering the same questions. Customers/clients don't like waiting in line to be attended to. They will choose your competition who has adopted new channels of communications.
Do not treat email marketing like flyers in mailboxes. Write with concern. You could also use emails to segment your list that you built from your last ad campaign but (hint) don’t use digital flyers in your email campaigns!
Marketing is a tool for communication which grows your revenue. These are some tips, but use your lockdown time to brainstorm further about how to improve your communication with your frequent customers (whose numbers you have already collected!). It is a key for helping to boost your sales.
The Trinidad and Tobago Chamber of Industry and Commerce thanks Bernadette Chin Lee of the Nova committee for contributing this article.