Understanding the business of your business is one thing, understanding the lifestyle of your customers and building a community is quite another.
As we ease out of Lockdown in the UK I am seeing small business (the ones that have survived) prepare for reopening the doors, with fancy new ads, advanced booking systems and brand new offerings, courses, deals and so many things apparently not to be missed.
As you throw open your doors with glitter and fanfare – a tumbleweed is about the only thing that passes through…
Where is everyone? Or rather, where have YOU been for the last few weeks?
Many customers and clients have lost their jobs, or if not, they’ve had to seriously tighten the purse strings. What reason have you given them that they should they invest their limited funds in you?
So may of us are good at understanding the basics of marketing ourselves for the customer, but are we any good at considering the customer experience?
Not only are some people broke, more people right now are scared. Whether or not they are scared of infection or public unrest, they are scared. Being house bound has become the new norm and some (probably more than would care to admit) are feeling more than uncomfortable about the prospect of trying to integrate back into the outside world.
So, what can you do to support your customers?
Consider building your community of customers and clients in a way that is outside of your business mindset or goals (bear with me) and check in with them – as other human beings.
And before you go there – I’m not talking about sending a newsletter!! ESPECIALLY if you’ve not sent one since before the pandemic.
Do something unheard of, drop them a FB message, a WhatsApp, a personalised email, whatever and ask how they are. If you have hundreds or thousands of people in your database, consider a FB post or something else, but think of avenues that they would use in their own time, not your best marketing platform. Then… offer them a chance to connect… a group call maybe, even if you only get two people, that’s a virtual brew with two humans who will meet human you. And THAT is where small businesses are best!
If you have a super small business like a yoga or fitness studio, offer small classes in the park, or maybe just a walk in nature with a small group of your customers to respect social distancing preferences (and rules obv).
Don’t forget how to be human in this comeback – your customers are people too!