With the lockdowns ending across Australia, it’s time for a lot of small businesses to, well, get back to business. But there are a few things we’ve learned from the last time we reopened – and those still hold true today. Let’s revisit some of these lessons.
Communication, Communication, Communication!
Reopening is your chance to let people know that they can now access sit-down menus, or view your new opening hours, or explore more services now that lockdown has ended.
It’s always good to just reach out and let customers know you’re there if they need you – and to celebrate a little with them.
Secondly, communication is two-ways. You’ll find customers may now be proactively looking for your services, and you need to make sure they can easily find you and communicate with you, or they’ll go somewhere else.
Now is a chance to jump onto text messaging, as recent studies showed 54% of people claim significant frustration if they can’t send a business an SMS text message*.
Update Your Google My Business Listing
It may seem a simple thing, but making sure your Google My Business listing is up to date with your new opening hours and services is one of the most important things you can do leading up to a post-lockdown world.
This is also relevant for your social media and website, as a purchase follows 28 percent of all local searches1.
Research also found that over half of people making local searches end up visiting a store in-person – an important factor when it comes to getting back to normality post-COVID2.
Updating opening hours may seem trivial, but it’s not the only thing you should look out for. In a post-lockdown world, you’ll find many people are looking for services they’ve been neglected in higher-than-average quantities.
Ensure your listings also show any restrictions you may have to capacity, any requirements to entry (i.e. masks or vaccinations) and other important information.
A purchase follows 28 percent of all local searches
Brace for Impact!
An end of lockdown means customers wanting your services, fast. Be ready to see a big uptick in customer appointments or visits, especially if you’ve done the above two steps well.
This means you need to be ready to fulfill client demand from day one. While people may appreciate and understand some delays or lack of services, they won’t for too long.
Making sure you understand how to turn a bad review into a good one is a good start, but ultimately, making sure a bad experience isn’t impacting future business is best.
Staffing is going to be an important factor in your business at this point, so make sure you’re doing it right by wearing the proper HR hat.
Finally, make sure you’re changing your communication with your customers amidst the post-lockdown boom. We cover this in greater detail on our blog, but in summary: Proper customer communication is critical to your business’s success post-COVID, so having updated contact information in your CRM pays off big time.
Emailing your customers to keep them in the loop is a way to keep the communication flowing continually and effortlessly — especially during a surge of business.
We’re all very excited to be returning to a sense of normality. This is a critical time to ensure small businesses like yours not only survives through the chaos, but grows.