We’re so excited to see a host of small businesses reopening as things gradually start to get back to normal after lockdown! However, this isn’t the case for everyone. For many SMEs, restrictions are still in place that prevent reopening.
With this in mind, here’s our advice on what to say to your customers when you can’t say you’re reopening.
Here’s what we’ve been working on!
You can’t announce your reopening, but you can still share what you’ve been working on whilst you’ve been away! For many businesses, this will involve utilising social media, your website, and email marketing.
Just because you might be closed, that doesn’t mean that your customers have lost interest in your brand. Many people will still be excited to receive updates on what you’ve been doing - the prettier and more unique the better! Sharing behind-the-scenes photos or home photoshoots are a great way to keep showing off your products, albeit in a digital format.
If you have a physical shop, don’t forget to put your best face forward! That means keeping window displays vibrant and interesting, showing any passing customers that you know what they’re interested in and are prepared for when you can reopen again.
Ideally, try to update your shop window as often as you would when you were open! At the very least, try to craft an evergreen display that won’t look out of date, no matter how long it’s there for. If you’ve established an online shop and delivery service during lockdown, put a notice in your shop window so passers-by know where to find you!
Until we meet again!
Don’t forget that it’s not goodbye forever! It’s more like au revoir!
Although your physical locations might remain closed, that doesn’t mean you should abandon your brand completely. It’s more important than ever to maintain your brand image, keeping your business at the forefront of your customers’ minds.
This means finding innovative ways to share aspects of your brand with your customers and social media followers. One incredible example of this has been Pret a Manger who have caused a social media storm when they released recipes of some of their best loved bakes on Facebook. Thousands of people began baking the secret Pret cookies, putting the Pret name on everyone’s lips - literally!
(Note: we’ve made the cookies, they’re worth the hype!)
If you can, try to use the best-loved aspects of your business in new ways. This is a brilliant way to keep your customers engaging with your brand, even if they can’t see you in person. Not all of us have out-of-this-world cookie recipes to share, but we do all have areas of expertise!
Connect with us!
Of course, if you can’t reopen, you will most likely be doing everything online. All of your contact with customers will be limited to digital contact, so encourage your customers to connect with you as much as possible!
It is more important than ever to keep your social media looking shiny, exciting and up-to-date. That means sharing relevant posts about topics that matter to your customers and clients and doing it regularly. Little and often is the aim here. Your content should all be centred on material they can use right now and going forward.
Keeping it personal
Technology has made it possible for us to stay connected in unprecedented ways, despite being far apart from one another. This has affected not just our communication with family and friends but also with customers and clients. Thanks to social media, video call and instant messaging, many of us have been able to keep working, despite the barriers posed by COVID-19.
There’s still a long way to go before we can get back to business as usual but just because you can’t reopen, that doesn’t mean that you don’t have anything to say. Keep working on your social media, keep improving your customers’ digital experience, keep changing the merchandise in your stores - it will be worth it in the long run!