Just because it appears that we have flattened the curve as far as COVID-19 is concerned, we’re still not out of the woods yet. The virus is still there, and so are the dangers that go with it.
For almost all essential businesses, it’s business as usual. However, the people who work in non-essential businesses are struggling.
The Struggle Is Real
There is a stark contrast when you look at businesses that offer essential products and services and those categorized as non-essential businesses, meaning their products and services are not considered important at this time.
Unfortunately, it seems that these businesses make up a huge part of the pie. Everything else other than food, clothing, shelter, and medical supplies are not a top priority for now.
This includes hair salons, fitness gyms, concrete coatings companies, publishing companies, and entertainment.
How will these establishments and businesses survive? How will their employees make a living to provide for their families? The government’s stimulus checks can only go so far. It may be business as usual for essential companies but everyone else, regardless of size, is one step closer to shutting down for good as each day passes.
Marketing and Selling Non-Essentials in an Unlikely Time
Surely there must be a way to keep their businesses going. Despite the restrictions put in place, smart leaders are taking this time to either pivot or adapt to the situation.
Yes, it is still possible for non-essential businesses to open their doors and serve their respective markets. You need to make some changes to the way you do business.
1. Strengthen and improve the quality of your customer relations
One of the most important aspects of maintaining a business is keeping a high quality of customer relations. Despite the present global health conditions, you should maintain a healthy relationship with your customers because they highly appreciate businesses and brands that show genuine concern.
Just because walk-ins are restricted doesn’t mean you no longer have the ability to engage your customers. Maintain your engagement by going online. Almost everyone has already transitioned, or are transitioning, to the digital realm. Utilize technology to stay connected to your customer base.
2. Highlight values and compassion when you communicate
Although emotional marketing is an effective tool to make people aware of your brand and products, you need to go beyond just making an emotional appeal to your customers.
In times like these, you need to put values and compassion at the forefront of your marketing strategies. Show genuine concern and empathy whenever you reach out to your clients and customers. Make them feel that you are there for them during these trying times.
Look for ways to give back to the community. This shows that your company is not just about profit, but you’re there to uphold certain values and show that you are socially responsible.
3. Help customers adapt to the changes
Quality customer service is one of the things that keep customers coming back. In light of everything that we’re going through in this pandemic — the disruptions to your routines, the unexpected changes to the way you do business, and the uncertainty that shrouds us all — you need to take your customer service skills to another level.
Set up a team whose main responsibility is to provide customer assistance and keep them informed of important updates regarding significant changes to your business. Even if you’re still navigating and adapting, never keep your customers in the dark and never belittle their concerns.
4. Consider offering favorable deals
Understandably, many people are struggling financially right now. Even if the economy has already reopened and is slowly recovering, a lot of folks are still strapped for cash and low on reserves.
As stated above, a little compassion and sensitivity might do you and your customers plenty of good. Consider price adjustments and offering payment plans for people. You may also consider offering discounts and special promos for a limited time. This way, it’s easier for them to acquire goods and services from you, and at the same time, you’re getting enough business to keep you operational.
5. Emphasize safety in your marketing
Your customers’ safety and welfare should be one of your top priorities. Because of the dangers of the coronavirus, most folks are wary about safety standards and protocols, even if they are, for example, buying goods online. They want to be assured that the products that they get are safe.
For this reason, you need to uphold high standards in the implementation of safety procedures in your workplace. Aside from this, you also need to communicate to your customers that you observe strict sanitation and hygiene practices in the production of your materials.
We are still faced with a lot of uncertainties. We still don’t know how long this pandemic will last and what the near future holds for all of us. But if we want to overcome the challenges in front of us, we need to learn to make the necessary adjustments and adapt.