Article:

How businesses can use digital during COVID-19

At this time, it’s vital that businesses keep operational to ensure that when the time passes, you are in a position to rebuild.

Here in WA, we are in the process of social distancing which is really about reducing social contact. While we haven’t gone into full isolation yet, we recommend that you prepare for both. Your digital platforms can help you achieve this, as digital becomes the primary source of contact globally at this time.

Here are our top tips for specific industries, how they can use digital to mitigate COVID-19 risk and also set yourself for future success.

The important part is that you:

  1. Build a strategy and communicate it quickly to your clients.
  2. Don’t overthink it or try and get it perfect. Your clients and customers will appreciate real-time and quick communications, not overly perfected strategies. It shows you are authentic and human, and that you care.
  3. Communicate what you can do for the customers, not just your internal policies. People need to know that you are putting the customers first.
  4. Build your social channels quickly to ensure that you can keep communicating with your clients as the situation develops.
  5. Issue an official statement through email and your website.

Hospitality

Hospitality is at risk of being hit the hardest, however, there are steps you can put in place to help make people feel comfortable about interacting with you.

  1. Promote a text or Facebook Messenger ordering option so that people can text their order and you let them know when it is close to being ready. This way you limit the number of people within the location at one time.
  2. Consider getting on UberEats, if you aren’t already.
  3. Develop takeaway meal boxes and promote these on social.
  4. Reach out to your local customer base and ask them to support you, by offering discounts to keep buying from you.

Real estate

It is important that you build your social presence both as individual salespeople and the business as a whole. From here you can:

  1. Book individuals in for live stream home opens through Facebook Events, allowing them to interact with the live stream with questions.
  2. Create video fly-throughs and walk-throughs. These can be on your phone and don’t need a professional videographer if you don’t have the budget or one available.
  3. Create a Whatsapp group to liaise with your clients, using videos and messages to keep in touch.

Health, beauty and fitness

Due to the high level of one-to-one contact, this industry will struggle if we move into social isolation, however, during social distancing you have a large number of options.

  1. Limit reception area congestion by committing to your customers that there will be gaps in between appointments to limit interactions between others.
  2. Provide online bookings of appointments through online booking systems or Facebook Messenger.
  3. For fitness locations, offer:
    • Livestreaming of classes to your members to ensure they don’t cancel memberships
    • Offer one-on-one training options to limit social contact
    • Limit class sizes to allow for social distancing

Trades

For trades the biggest challenge will be keeping the pipeline of quotations active while you limit social interactions. Some solutions to this are:

  1. Build an online quotation form on your website and advise them to use tools such as Measure on the iPhone to provide accurate measurements of the area.
  2. Use video conferencing to ask them to walk you through the location and talk you through what they are looking for.
  3. Use ballpark quotes as a way of confirming the pricing for the job, but ensuring that you leave enough room in there for unknown on-site changes.
  4. Complete site works when nobody is at the house and ensure that all your team members adhere by your policies of social distancing.

B2B and services

B2B and service industries may have less interactions and will be able to transition to social distancing easily. However, your real risk is businesses lowering services to mitigate their own financial risk during this time, or businesses closing doors.

  1. Reach out to your customers and see how you can help. Think laterally on what you can do during this time to ensure that your customers feel supported by offering them solutions to their problems.
  2. Move all your meetings to video conferencing to ensure the safety of your clients and your staff.
  3. Build your content strategy with video content to help your clients keep their heads above water at this time.

If you need help and are unsure how to approach the situation, please fill in our client strategy request form and our team will be happy to send you some ideas.