How to Stay Connected with your Customers During the Coronavirus Pandemic

Alyson VanCleave Aly VanCleave

I recently saw an Instagram post from a local coffee shop that shared a link to a fundraising campaign to help offset their employees’ lost wages during this time. One of their baristas posted shortly after about how tough it is to be without work for an unknown amount of time and not see the coworkers and customers she cares about every day.

This is the reality for many small business owners and employees right now.

You are doing your best to care for hard-working employees and take care of life at home (often with kids who are suddenly house-bound and full of energy and don’t quite understand the concept of a global pandemic), while simultaneously pivoting your business model and running crisis communications 24/7. It’s overwhelming.

We get it — and that’s why our team wrote out some tangible, easy-to-implement steps to help your business continue to thrive through this season:

  • Update your website and offers. Make sure the information on your site is current with your contact information, hours and offerings. Don’t have a website? Build one using template-based website builders such as Wix, Squarespace, and Weebly.
  • Get social and stay social. Orders to stay at home mean that people are more active on social media, right? Don’t be shy. Share about how your business is doing, how you’re shifting your products and services, and what your plan is. 
  • Repurpose and share content for your customers. Do you have content you’ve produced in the past that is relevant to the many people who are new to the world of digital business? Repurpose and repost it.
  • Think about setting up online shopping carts. Many website builders can connect with shopping cart apps (e.g., Shopify, Big Cartel). A shopping cart feature can also give you customer information so you can connect with them in the future (hello, email lists and targeted social ads). 
  • Communicate how people can spend money with you. Are you taking orders and payment by phone? Do you have an online shop? Are you promoting items on Instagram and emailing invoices? However you choose, make sure your customers know about it. And tell them often.
  • Tell people how you are working through the crisis. Do you have new cleaning routines in place in your restaurant? How are you packing orders for delivery? Share that with your customers — on your website, social and in a printed note.
  • Embrace email. Don’t have an email list? Now’s the time to build one. Email lists allow you to directly communicate with your customers. Social algorithms don’t guarantee that anyone is seeing your latest menu item or clothing restock — an email does. 

Be sure to check out our Thrive Guide for more easy-to-implement steps and tips for keeping your sales (and spirits) up.