Running a business during the pandemic has been a challenge for business owners. Summer tourism and other seasonal companies may have struggled to keep their doors open, especially with unpredictable demand. However, things are starting to open back up, and many people are beginning to look for ways to get out again.
Staying Open this Summer: How to Preserve Customer Relationships During the Pandemic
Staying open during a pandemic can be more challenging than your previous growth efforts, but it doesn't have to be impossible! In fact, many have realized that their businesses can thrive even amid tough times. Here’s how to pull it off.
1. Be Dedicated to Communication with Customers
The COVID-19 situation is constantly changing. Recommendations from the CDC can vary in what feels like the blink of an eye, and so can the requirements for your company.
Your business's requirements and recommendations may change, too. Communication with your customers is critical during this time. Send out regular correspondence to customers and employees to let them know what safety measures you're requiring, what you'd like for them to do, and what services you're able to offer this year.
In addition, make sure those lines of communication stay open so that you can keep customers informed. Keep them in the loop as they travel, especially if your hours or policies have changed so that they can make plans accordingly. Communicate via social media, your website, and email.
Customers are often more empathetic to businesses that communicate effectively during these times. When they know what to expect from you, they're more likely to accept whatever limitations you have or restrictions they may still need to follow to visit your business safely.
2. Host an Online Event for Customers who are Staying Home
Even if your business is open, some people may not be able to take advantage of all the services you offer or who may not yet be comfortable going back to "business as usual." They may, however, be willing to join a virtual event. For example, use social media live streams to showcase a new product or service, store re-opening, launch, or special event.
To increase participation, offer something exclusive: a product or giveaway for the virtual event attendees. During the early days of the pandemic, many business owners had immense success with virtual events. However, going forward, many consumers will still attend from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Providing them with virtual events also helps keep your business top of mind, pandemic or not.\
3. Don't Be Afraid to Advertise
Many brands cut back on their ad spending in light of the pandemic. With things opening back up again, however, now is the time to launch new advertising plans. In particular, during the summer season, you should take advantage of a wide range of options, from online ads and social media marketing to TV ads.
The focus of your advertising efforts doesn't just have to be promoting your business. It can also be an opportunity to offer valuable guidance and assistance for travel despite continuing uncertainty. In addition, you'll be able to use those ads to build confidence in your brand, which can help many customers feel more comfortable coming to visit you. Finally, you’ll create a positive impression of your brand to maintain customer loyalty.
As you build up your content, what customers can expect from you, and how they can prepare themselves and your families, you'll find that it builds trust, too--and that increased and loyalty can help bring customers straight to your destination.
A Successful Summer Season is in Reach
Businesses worried about summer tourism have plenty of opportunities to retain customers, build their brands, and even make more sales than anticipated. Some people are eager to get out of their homes and start traveling again. Others are looking for ways to engage with the brands that they trust most from the comfort of home. By exercising a little creativity and reaching out with your advertising efforts, you can set your brand up for success this season.
Whether you're expecting summer tourists or your target audience tends to exercise more caution when choosing vacation destinations, you can help keep your customers safe while growing your brand and keeping your business open this summer.