Working from homeApril 7, 2020
Mercedes F1 engineers help make a breathing aid for coronavirus patients in less than 100 hoursApril 7, 2020
COVID-19 has disrupted our world like nothing we have seen before and we are all facing a very serious challenge. Most businesses have been greatly impacted as the economy has taken a hit because of COVID-19, but there is hope on the horizon.
This is a time of much uncertainty, fear and anxiety for people, some of whom have been personally affected by the coronavirus or have loved ones that are at high-risk. This means that we all need to be sensitive with the language we choose to use in any marketing material we send out.
If you are following the constant news updates about the coronavirus, you are probably wondering if we will ever be able to leave our homes again. But this situation isn’t going to last forever so we must continue to be positive and look at ways of protecting our businesses.
Communicate During These Times of Uncertainty. Consistency = Safety
Our communities need each other now more than ever. People need support, understanding, education and resources. Digital and Social marketing can provide just that and can be extremely powerful if it’s done correctly.
You have a captive audience at home but you should steer away from normal promotions at this time. Share experiences with them regards your company, work or even personal. If you normally send an email on the 1st of each month then your customers will come to expect it. Don’t make them feel abandoned at this time. If they bought a new vehicle from you 2 months ago you want to show them you are doing you utmost to support them just as you would pre COVID-19.
Make sure you try and share facts v fiction and keep everything positive. People have enough negativity with scary news coming at them via the TV, Radio & Press. Try and bring in some light heartedness without being disrespectful to the serious situation with COVID-19. Interact with them and ask them to share their current experiences. Maybe do some interactive competitions or forums for people to discuss their worries with you.
Perhaps send out an email question and answers platform. List the questions you and your staff are being regularly asked and try and shed some light on them. Communication of any form is good. Don’t suddenly disappear if your customers are used to hearing from you monthly or weekly.
Consistency = safety
Try to Stay Positive – It’s Going to Get Better
As the Covid-19 situation changes, your plans may too. In the meantime, staying connected to others is more important than ever when you can’t physically meet in person.
It’s very important when thinking about your email strategy and other marketing communications to ascertain who you should be sending your emails to? People are overwhelmed by information coming at them from everywhere – the news, social media, their families, their employers and so on.
While it is important to communicate information with your customers, consider doing so on a need-to-know basis by segmenting your audience for example: – Sales & After Sales.
For other messages, you may want to consider compiling a VIP list or customers that have recently purchased a vehicle say in the last 90 days. If you have a large audience base this will help ensure your message only hits the inbox of your most engaged subscribers. The same theory can be applied to those customers who may be due a MOT or service in the near future.
Our businesses are all facing challenging times as the economic impact of Coronavirus starts to bite. You need to prepare your business for the long haul. We need to work smarter and be ready to tackle the challenges ahead.
Review any current workflow campaigns and determine if the messaging is still a good fit and what should be added to accommodate the changing times.
NHS and Key Workers
If you do have a service department open, you could maybe discuss the precautions you are taking to keep both your staff and customers safe.
Perhaps you can offer discounts to key workers who may have difficulties with their car/van and really don’t need to be worrying about how to fix the problem. Offer them some solutions. It’s a very good time to get involved in your community and show you care about your customers both in the good times but more importantly in the bad.
Set Yourself Up for Success Post COVID-19
At some point, the Coronavirus will pass. When that time comes, you don’t want to be starting from scratch with your marketing again having lost your momentum with communication.
We know that most business owners are long-term-minded anyway, so don’t let the COVID-19 deter you from that forward-thinking mindset.
Now is not the time to stop marketing efforts, it’s the time for you to be even more strategic in implementing them! You clearly don’t want to be pushing high priced items when most people are suffering either health wise or financially as jobs have been lost or put on hold.
However, you can show customer loyalty by showing your support in helping out with service and MOT queries. Advise on who to contact regards finance or lease agreements. Keep your customer up to date on what’s happening with your business like when your service department is likely to reopen. Regularly update opening and closing times and perhaps leave an Emergency Contact Number.
Don’t forget your staff. These are very uncertain times for them too. Set up Lockdown chats. Send out regular interesting emails to keep them informed. Make them feel valued. You clearly value all your staff but tell them. Make it clear you are going to do all you can to build up your business in what is going to be a very hard economic situation. Show them you are there for them!
Communicate with Employees as well as Customers
Keep an Online Presence
Focus on Existing Customers
Prepare Your Business for Post COVID-19
Think about Special offers
Adapt your services to the current situation
Market your product with COVID-19 in mind
Identify the challenges to your business
Plan solutions with several scenarios in mind
Use alternative solutions to maintain daily operation