We’re in uncharted territory for businesses. Many locally owned single and multi-location businesses are taking their stores online for the first time in order to operate safely while we find a way to defeat Coronavirus. Expanding to include online operations can allow them to serve an extended customer base and retain these new customers once they are able to reopen their doors.
Whether you're a brick-and-mortar retail store or a boutique fitness studio, there are actions you can take to help you navigate the uncertainty and set yourself up for success in the future. With tactful business decisions, many companies can put themselves in a position to grow.
To accomplish this, some businesses are changing the products they offer in response to the crisis. For example, some shops that produce apparel may switch to making masks for pickup order. Some craft distilleries are producing hand sanitizer with their alcohol and donating it to hospitals and selling to the public.
If people can’t come to your locations at the moment, there are ways you can bring your business to them — whether it’s through delivery, online classes, live streams, or just keeping in touch while you wait to reopen. The plan won’t look the same for every business; the type and amount of services you can offer from afar may depend on your industry. And that’s ok! Even if you’re not able to operate your locations as normal right now, it is essential to keep your customers updated, keep in touch, and utilize your advocates to help you through the crisis.
Keep Your Customers Updated
Now more than ever as people try to limit the amount that they leave their houses, customers need to know what to expect from a business. Have your hours changed? Has your menu changed? Are you offering different products or services in response to the coronavirus? Have any of your locations closed temporarily? Do you have a new or updated website? Can customers pay online for pickup orders so they don’t have to handle cash? Are you shipping orders, and if so how long will it take?
Your customers need all the information before they make the decision to purchase something from your business. Keeping all of your information up to date on multiple platforms will make it easy for your customers to support you.
With Nuvi Locate, you can publish all of your business information to 60+ directories like Yelp, Google, and more. You can update all of your information, including address, business hours, the category of your business, phone number, a featured message, photos, product offerings and payment methods, instantly— even for multiple locations.
Updates to your featured message are particularly important through this time, as they will provide you with a space to tell your customers what you’re doing about the virus. Sharing the measures you’re taking to keep your staff and customers safe will help build trust in your brand and give your audience the opportunity to support you and your community! For example, providing an update that your company is making supplies for healthcare workers may influence them to share this with their friends or make a purchase to support your efforts, thus expanding your brand awareness or helping you continue to help the community.
Having the correct information on multiple platforms will help you appear in local searches, expanding your potential customer base. It’s essential to provide customers with a flawless customer experience in these uncertain times. Providing them with the latest information about your business is an important step in that direction.
Keep in Touch
You should always stay connected with customers and potential customers, but it is especially important now when it is harder to connect with people face-to-face. Many people are turning to online methods to keep in touch with their families and friends while complying with social distancing measures— why not do the same for your business?
Publishing updates on your business and responding to incoming inquiries quickly on social media channels will greatly improve the social customer experience your business provides. Responsiveness on social media can increase trust and positive association with your brand and reduce churn, which is especially important in the current climate where many businesses are experiencing a decline in sales.
Keep the conversation going with your customers, fans and friends, without missing a beat, with Nuvi Local’s inbox, where your messages, reviews, replies and comments from multiple platforms will be pulled into one unified inbox. Having just one inbox to deal with can make the process easier for small teams to collaborate and keep track of responses.
Within the Nuvi Local platform, you can easily create and schedule a post from any of the images in your gallery. Keep your audience updated with news about your business or industry paired with captivating images for maximum impact.
Our new Smart Social tool makes it easy to stay in touch via your social media channels. Smart Social will automatically schedule the content you upload to be posted on days and times where customer engagement peaks. This feature allows your team to focus on creating messaging that resonates, while we take care of the tedious posting and uploading.
Platforms that enable communication both within your team and with your customers are essential to staying connected in the social distancing era.
Utilize your Advocates
Shopping, eating, and many other familiar experiences are changing as we adjust to increased societal distance. It is more difficult to rely on your in-store employees to be the face of your brand and advocate for your products. Ordering goods or meals online is a fundamentally different customer experience. As a result, reputation management is now even more essential to your business.
Take advantage of this by encouraging your customers to become brand advocates. Now is a great time to reach out to your audience, find out what they want or need from your business, and take action to provide those goods or services. Nuvi Review gives you the power to create templates for, send, and track review invitations to invite your customers to share their feedback. Uploading a CSV file with customer data and sending our review invitations based on a template will save you and your team valuable time and provide you with the feedback you need to keep your customers satisfied. You’ll also receive notifications when your business gets new reviews, so you can respond and act right away.
For small and multiple location businesses, investing in your online presence will lay the groundwork for you to succeed while social distancing measures are in place and after. Although there is still some uncertainty as to when we will return to “normal,” positioning yourself wisely can help you weather the storm.
Give yourself and your team the right platform to keep customers updated, stay connected and mobilize your advocates with Nuvi.