It is a punch that you didn’t see coming that knocks you out. However, you can swerve on an anticipated one. This actually is what’s happening in the reputation landscape today. There are unseen punches and there are anticipated ones but the question is, how can you intervene so you can take the punches well, better yet avoid it?
Before the pandemonium brought forth by COVID19, reputation was heavily based on the type of services you offer, and how good you are in delivering the services that people pay your company for. Traction can be gained with social media presence and word-of-mouth. This too, however, can be a double-edged sword if not managed correctly. Your business reputation, if managed well, can magnify your business’ strengths and catapult you to success.
Reputation is now redefined as it adapts to the harrowing need to stay safe and away from the threats of COVID19. Its basis and how it affects people have greatly adapted to the new normal where businesses are now aiming to gain traction and their customers’ trust by prioritizing sanitation, social distancing, and well-being. This simply means that the goal of businesses to be known for the services they offer and how they conduct their business have now taken the second spot in their priority list.
The question now is, have you prepared your business to adapt to these changes before the world goes back to operation? Here are some tips you could do as a warm-up for the days to come.
1) Think clean, think healthy.
Consumers now are hungry for security and safety. They could choose local over popular ones if they feel that the local products are more sanitized than those mass-produced known products. They want assurance that what they are getting their hands into is clean and sanitized. Get your word across that your business and your products are sanitized well and are handled with utmost safety for the benefit of your consumers. If you are into social media, it will not hurt to post the things you do to sanitize your place of business, your products, and the equipment you use for your consumers to see which in turn could gain their trust.
2) Think about your own staff, think about you.
As you sanitize your place of business, your products, and the equipment you use for your consumers, it is equally important that the people delivering your business to your customers are practicing good sanitation too. You and your staff should be at tip-top health. Good hygiene, combined with extraordinary customer service that aims to protect your customers against exposure to infection can get the word out that your business is the best amongst others.
3) Be open about it, be vocal about it.
If your business has a brick and mortar location where people are expected to come and go when you go fully operational during and after this pandemic, it would greatly help to be very vocal about what is happening on the inside. We are at the point where practicing social distancing is the new normal therefore it would greatly help consumers if you help them navigate through your store and your business conduct as they go along. We are talking about putting signages outside your store that could say “Please maintain social distancing while inside the store” or you could put written rules out about consistently wearing masks and spraying alcohol prior to entering and before exiting the store. Paranoia about cleanliness and sanitation these days could bring you miles ahead of the game for the customers.
4) Utilize and maximize your social media presence.
Most people are online these days that even when we get to a point that it is declared safe to go out, the majority will still test the waters by lurking on social media and gauge the reputation of businesses through what they see online. Remember when they said strike while the iron is hot? The iron is hot now so post as much as you can, communicate with your followers as often as possible and get a good word out. Most likely, these followers are going to be your first customers and the first people to post about your business as much as rate how good your business is.
5) Get your trusty old email skills on the go.
As you capitalize on the current followers you have to get your reputation soaring high, getting old customers back through email marketing is just as sweet. These are your old friends, the first believers of your business before all these changes happened. They have pretty much good experience with how you do things and seeing as how you are adapting to changes could get them back and in turn, bolster your sales and reputation up. Email them again and woo them back by your efforts to keep them safe and soon you will be hitting two birds with one stone.
6) Lastly, remember that feedback is a gift!
Your efforts should not stop after you did a sale. Tie loose ends by tapping on your customers and asking them to rate your business. This allows an opportunity to enhance your current processes and get to a level of understanding built on trust with your customers. Ask them for a sincere opinion and don’t be afraid to make up for misses. Get your happy customers to rate you through an automated tool which could enable a healthy communication with them. Nothing works as fast as the word-of-mouth through social media and incorporating this to the feedback loop could be the very strategy you need as you get your business back on track.
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