A ‘Between Waves’ Planner for Small Businesses

4. Marketing

  • Create mechanisms for building contact lists of your customers so you can maintain contact with them during a future disruption to your operations.
  • Develop suitable promotions to encourage customers to continue their relationship with you before, during and after a disruption to your business, such as discounts, buy one/get one promotions or frequent shopper rewards.
  • Use social media to reach out to your customers, build a following and perform outreach. This will help you retain existing customers while keeping them informed about offers, operations and activities during a disruption.
  • Ensure your tone is empathetic and compassionate. Leave the whimsy and humor for a later time. Your customer base may be in various stages of grief or experiencing stress-related anxiety.
  • Monitor your web analytics to see what your site visitors are viewing. Revise your navigation to make it easier to find the information your customers are interested in, which may have changed since the beginning of the pandemic.
  • Think about adding a chat feature to your website so someone on your team can respond to queries in real-time. If this isn’t possible, create a unique email box for pandemic-specific questions, suggestions or concerns. Just be sure you check it regularly so that the sender knows you care.
  • If there are temporary changes to your fulfillment practices – such as delays in processing or shipping due to the pandemic – use your website and social media channels to explain the issue and what you are doing about it.
  • If your website has a blog, use it to keep customers and the general public up to date about your business and its activities.
  • If you are requiring proof of vaccination for admission to your business, make sure you have proper signage and staff to be able to verify documentation and control admissions.
  • Make sure there is adequate signage at the entrance points and notify the media that you are requiring proof. Add this to your social media messages too.