There is no exaggeration in stating that the world now revolves around the COVID virus. Almost all the countries in the world have been hit by the virus, with some bearing the brunt while some others escaped with minor scrapes.
The case is the same for businesses, some of them – like insurance, health care, etc. – were least affected by the virus while others – like airlines, the entertainment industry, hotels, etc. – got the worst blow. But above all this there remains the fact that the world has changed, and so has the way business is done. And every business owner needs to adapt to the new scenario to stay on top of the game in the post-COVID world.
Change in Customer Behavior
Everything now is built around hygiene and safety. People will have the tendency to suspect everyone around them to be coronavirus carriers, and they can’t be blamed. We’ll have to adapt ourselves to new modes of customer behavior.
This will be different for different industries. For example, an educational institution will have to move to online classes in the new scenario. And in the future, the number of students in a physical classroom will have to be reduced to maintain social distancing.
If you own a bar, beauty parlor, or any such shop where you have to be in close contact with customers, the most important thing will be to maintain your own personal hygiene. Also, you’ll have to make sure that your workplace is as clean as it can be. Sanitizers, masks, and hand wash should be the new stars in your workplace. If customers don’t feel that your place is clean, they may stay away.
Even if COVID-19 does keep you from seeing your customers in person, it doesn’t mean that you have to stay away from them without any communication. In contrast, this is the time when you have to communicate with them and let them know that you’re all together in this fight. Modern means of communication like social media platforms, video conferencing, and so on can be used for effective communication.
Reassure Your Staff
Your employees are as important as your customers. An unhappy staff results in an unhappy customer, so make sure you reassure your staff about their future. The entire world has fallen into an economic crisis, and this has led to many companies laying off their staff. This and the scare of the pandemic can result in your staff being concerned about their future.
If possible, implement a work from home culture and flexible working hours so social distancing can be maintained in the workplace. Virtual platforms like Google Meet and Zoom can be used for effective communication when employees are working remotely. Also, if someone is found to be suffering from some ailment, convince them to go for a medical checkup.
This is also the best time to encourage people to get training and certifications that will help them and your business.
Planning for the Future
The virus is still at large threatening the whole world but it’s not too early to be planning for the post-COVID times. There will be changes with clients, marketing, product delivery and everything you can think of, and the earlier you plan, the easier it will be to adapt to the changes.
With consumers deciding to spend less due to job vulnerability and the economic crisis, brands must put their heads together to find ways to bring back optimism among shoppers. For example, retailers will have to think of ways to bring back traditional customers who have decided to venture into online shopping platforms.
One way to win back customers would be by pursuing digital initiatives with the help of good web and mobile app development. On the marketing front, if you’re planning to do giveaways and COVID-related services, make sure that it doesn’t come across as a marketing gimmick. Genuineness is of paramount importance to customers.
If you run a B2B business, you must stay in constant touch with your clients and convince them of a positive outcome. You’ll have to depend on virtual meeting platforms for some time more, so make good use of these platforms to keep in touch.
About the Author
Amritha Danil is the managing partner and digital marketing head at Calvys Business Solutions. She is a working mother of a toddler and still finds time to do a couple of Sudoku.