It’s common for us all to assume that everything we know is common knowledge for the rest of the world. And it’s definitely not.
Sometimes we learn this the hard way, when we assume everyone knows something we underperform, lose sales and get into situations we could avoid if only … we had communicated clearly.
Coming out of lockdown businesses are very busy re-starting their operation, which is great.
What about the customer?
The true reason you want your business to be operational again is for the benefit of the customer. That is why now is the time to deliver these 10 important timely messages to your customers, past customers and even prospects.
Here are the subjects and ideas on how to best deliver these messages.
1. We are back in business
This is truly the most important message you can and you should send to your customers and really to the world right now. There are so many conversations about businesses not re-opening that people will be concerned for a while and will be wondering if you are opening and coming back.
This message is particularly important for companies in non-retail, non-hospitality sectors. In other words, for everyone who is not located at a street level and anyone can see if they are opened or not just by walking along the street.
For all manufacturing, wholesale, professional services, trade it is of real essence to communicate you are opened and ready to deliver. And when you are committed to this communication you have to apply it consistently to every place your business is featured. Do you have a list like that?
2. Our business hours are.
Reminding about your business hours is a courtesy you may offer to your present and future customers. Do not assume this is trivial and obvious information because it is not and nowadays people are mindful that there could be new rules, new hours of operation and we see it everywhere.
Choose not to resort to statements like “our business hours are as usual”. Go through the trouble to advise when are you opened and find different places where you can effectively communicate this.
Yes, there is a lot of information these days. And yet simple things are still difficult to find.
Don’t trust me, go google and try finding your opening hours, then share with me how hard or easy and how accurate or not they were.
3. Cut off times/dates are.
Remind about any special dates/times, maybe cut off times to place an order, terms of delivery and the likes. This is super important for you that people will adhere to your deadlines.
Forgive people for forgetting over 6 weeks what your cut off time for delivery tomorrow is. Just gently communicate and remind not once… many times, because people need to know this when they need it and that can be … at any moment.
4. We are located at.
This is almost funny; you’d say people know where you are located.
Not so fast!
Many expect businesses shifting if not right now then in the months to come.
Unless you are heavily relying on foot traffic, reminding about your address for delivery, pick up and more is a noble thing to do so they don’t have to rely on Google which might have not yet picked up your new address from your website (this is if you even have a website).
5. What your website can do for your customers.
Massive disclaimer – this message is for 60% of NZ businesses which have a website. The remainder 40% without a website may skip this item.
So, when you have a website, think more what can it be used for, what kind of information, education you can provide there to make it easier for your customers. Here is a short list of how your website can support your customers:
- Provide technical support
- Answer questions
- Clarify your terms and conditions of delivery
- Recommend, upsell
- Offer free information, education, resources
- Share or comment on industry news
This is just a short list of ways how your website can deliver extra value for your existing customers.
As a double whammy, the very same information can serve well for re-assurance of your potential customers about your company, your capabilities and your ability to support them.
6. Who you are and what you do?
Unless your customers are buying from you often (daily or weekly), chances are their perception about what you do may be way different from the true reality of what your business delivers now.
Let me share an example in an unusual area you think we all know well, that is retail. There are iconic NZ store chains we all know about and we assume their product range is well known. Sure, there are new models and designs coming every season, but we still know to shop for books in Whitcoulls and go to Big Save for furniture.
My story is about Big Save, which I had not visited for years, simply because there was no need. Actually, not true, I would pop in every now and then on the lookout for some inspiration. It has its specific known range. A few months back waiting for a colleague I popped in a store and was pleasantly surprised by a complete and total difference in the styles and types of products. Wow! Where did that come from? I got serious inspiration to get a few new things immediately.
Don’t be a stranger, share more information about your products and services, because otherwise people, even your existing customers won’t buy more unless they know and understand you are doing more.
7. Who is your best customer OR who and when do they need you?
While we all love to sell to many different customers, the reality is you can attract more better customers when you communicate to those who are your best customers.
For example, we shine when it comes to B2B sales and marketing. While we do have other types of businesses as very good clients, we choose not to position ourselves as a marketing agency, instead we say B2B marketing agency. As a result, we attract a lot more B2B companies because that is our best target market.
8. More about your products and services.
A lot of traditional businesses, professional services, wholesale, manufacturers, feel what they do is commonly known. There is some unspoken assumption that you know to go to a roofer when the roof leaks and go to an accountant when you need end of year financials.
What about the times you need something less obvious?
My roof leaks and the ceiling is damaged. Is it enough to call the roofer or do I need a ceiling guy too? My plumber suggested he can fix the roof, so next time do I reach out to a plumber to fix the roof or what?
I want to develop a business plan and financial projections. Can I trust my accountant to help with a business plan or do I need a specialised business consultant? Will a coach be of help with business planning, or does a coach exist only to keep me accountable with a gentle whip and I need to seek help elsewhere?
It’s OK that there is a crossover of skills and a plumber may be a qualified roofer as well as a business coach may be a consultant and an accountant too. That crossover is not an issue. The issue is that these professionals assume everyone would know the full range of their services.
9. Welcome message.
OK you advised everyone you are back to business, but are you welcoming new business?
Of course, you will say, but … I’m not convinced. Seems everything is delivered slower than usual and some industries are under a lot of stress. So, yes, I do want to know if you can provide service now or not and it will be truly nice if I don’t have to ask for it.
10. Offer help.
We are all in the same boat, so we all understand where and how each of our businesses can help others.
For example, one of our services is to create automated email communication. It really helps to grow sales. Right now, we see it more beneficial to have a conversation about Reconnecting with your customers and think from this perspective rather that consider a newsletter which may be treated as a second priority.
I agree, if you don’t have a newsletter, it’s OK.
If you don’t communicate these ten messages your customers are eagerly waiting for, it’s not right.
Ready to learn more? Join me on register.e-ideas.co.nz
Assia Salikhova, Managing Director, E-ideas Ltd
Boutique B2B Marketing Implementation Agency
DDI +64 4 973 4949
M +64 27 231 8631
To discover ways to reconnect with your customers after weeks in isolation join me for a webinar by registering here It will save you plenty of chasing for the information around and help you to make an informed decision.