Prepare for the “Post Covid-19” Business Reboot
Ten things you can do today to improve corporate operations and strengthen business relationships.
Many of us in advertising and marketing have found that projects may be slowing down, the phone isn’t ringing as frequently and the inbox isn’t filling up as quickly. In times like these, there are ways to turn those spare minutes into productive learnings… and future earnings!
Understanding and identifying your customers’ current situation and future needs can lead to improved customer service or even a new business strategy. Here are ten things businesses can do today to prepare for the influx of sales and marketing activity that is bound to occur once current business environment shifts back into full operation.
Analyze the competition by conducting a SWOT analysis for your brand, product or customer experience. Dramatic social and political events can change a customer’s perceptions of a product or service, and your actions (or inactions) during a time of crisis can also change their opinion of your brand. The CDC recommends essential workers take their temperature regularly to track key symptoms of an oncoming illness. Taking the figurative temperature of your brand can lead to a healthier long-term customer connection.
Review past surveys, customer interviews and customer-support call logs. Data is easy to collect, but it’s often hard to find time to review the data and analyze its findings. Making sense of your data takes time and effort but, for a lot of us, this can cause analysis paralysis. Fortunately, there are techniques for cleaning and sorting your data, and then analyzing its context, investigating anomalies, niching down to key metrics and comparing KPIs to those metrics. It’ll be time well spent. Data-driven companies are up to three times more likely to generate an improved decision-making process.
Conduct a roundtable discussion with your brand’s sales and support teams. These are the people who have the best direct relationship with the customers. If a conference call or Zoom meeting isn’t possible due to conflicting time zones and schedules, try creating a survey on Survey Monkey. The upside is… roundtables give everyone the chance to participate in conversation. The downside is… everyone has the chance to participate in conversation! With a strong plan that includes clear goals and a set agenda, you can avoid a chaotic discussion and prevent a yawn-inducing event and ensure a results-focused discussion.
Respond to your positive and negative reviews. Whether it’s on your website, a blog or a site like Glass Door, it’s important to respond to your reviews… both positive and negative. It’s reported that 63% of businesses never respond to their reviews. 94% of consumers say a bad review has convinced them to avoid a business, however, 45% of consumers said they’re more likely to visit or work with a business that responds to negative review. And for those positive reviews, responding directly translates into an opportunity to strengthen a relationship with a potential lifelong customer. For reviews that are neutral; reinforce the positive, address the negative and consider taking it offline to gather more details. Finally, responding to employee reviews provides job candidates with an extra measure of reassurance, especially when they see that your company is active on employee review sites.
Map out your customer’s decision-making process and the customer journey. Think about their multiple phases and touchpoints; how they move from a prospective lead to becoming life-long customer. Look for new opportunities to engage with your customer, answer their questions, resolve potential conflicts and improve their overall brand experience.
Interview and survey your customers. Now is the perfect time to ask your clients and customers for reviews, or to approach them to collaborate on an application story or case study. In a time when everyone is being inundated with uninspiring emails from brands saying “they’re here for us,” it is important to be thoughtful in your approach. Surveys can be a quick and easy way to understand your customer’s current situation and their overall satisfaction with your service. If you can, personalized interviews can reveal valuable insights and connect you to the deeper emotions that are motivating your customers.
Look at new markets/audiences/opportunities for your legacy products. Maybe now is the time to put a new spin on an old product. If a product isn’t selling like it once did, there’s probably a good reason behind the lagging sales. Did you overestimate demand, is it priced correctly, or are you focusing on the wrong target market? Your product or service may still be a great idea; it may just need a fresh marketing approach. Take a look at your competitors’ pricing. Review your creative approach. Could you use another product to lift sales for this product through product pairing or suggestive selling? Some extra insight and a little creativity may be all you need to kick those sales back into high gear.
Take some time to reevaluate and reconnect with freelancers, vendors and key suppliers. Are you receiving the affordability, flexibility and variety you expected from your current support teams? Take some time to review your mutual goals and reestablish the performance criteria for tracking and evaluating success. Then, create an evaluation method that will help you maintain a good relationship and decide on when it’s time to issue a warning to help them improve their performance and meet your expectations. It’s important to communicate openly and often.
Follow up with past customers and silent prospects. Is there a problem you can help them solve? Do you have a new skill they would be interested in? Do you have a recent win you could share that would be relevant to their business? Are you noticing gaps on their website, in their social media or in their general marketing mix? If so, maybe it’s time to reintroduce yourself.
Show your fun side. After weeks of staying home, not socializing, multiple Zoom meetings, endless conference calls, working in our sweatpants and t-shirts, not showering (but double-cleaning our houses) and getting to know our family members better all over again, LePoidevin Marketing showed “the fun side of being confined” by creating a team photo contest. We plan to share our submissions on our social media channels, so stay tuned to see how we creatively cope with COVID-19.
Hopefully, these ideas will help you find ways to guide your brand through this outbreak and generate strategies for a more robust future. This epidemic is going to test our resilience and creativity, but if we take time to learn and evolve with this shifting marketplace, our brands can adapt, grow and become an even better version of their past selves.