How will your brand respond to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, and how can you ensure a seamless shift to online ordering, takeout and delivery in the midst of it all?
While we’ve only started to skim the surface of the social, economic and financial impact brought on by the coronavirus, there’s no question that brands across all industries – especially the travel & tourism, restaurant and retail industries – will face temporary disruption to everyday business logistics and operations.
The virus is not the driving factor behind [economic] losses, however. Instead, it’s the way consumers, businesses and governments respond to an outbreak that matters most.CNN Business
As CNN Business explains, the demand for consumer goods and energy will shift as individuals work from home and avoid going out to travel and shop. But how brands and individuals respond to this shift to only online shopping and working remotely is what truly matters.
The great news? We are already living in the digital age, where many businesses have some form of online experience, including mobile apps and e-commerce websites. The better news? Customers will continue to purchase items; they just need new ways of doing so (i.e., mobile app and online ordering for delivery or pick-up).
To help your brand maintain its reputation and brand experience during COVID-19, we’ve listed a few tips below.
1. Support your employees.
In any way you can, encourage, support and care for your employees more than ever before. Let them know what your company is doing to prepare and respond to COVID-19 updates. Remember that your staff is filled with concerned parents, children, caregivers and individuals that are worried about their health and that of their loved ones.
Reach out to your employees and offer them the ability to work from home if possible in your industry/line of work. Let them know you are there for them and their families, not only on a professional level but also on a personal level. By sharing your employees’ concerns and reducing worry where possible, you will create a new level of trust with your team. Employees will feel more connected with your leadership and your brand as a whole, increasing retention while creating advocates in your company.
2. Support your customers.
In the same way, let your customers know what your brand is doing to prevent the spread of new coronavirus outbreaks. By sending an email or a letter from the leadership team, you can humanize your brand and show customers that the company is made up of individuals walking in their same footsteps.
Through your communication channels, share updates on if and how customers can still access your products and services, ways that they can still experience your brand as they would in-person, etc. By keeping your customers up-to-date, you will keep them connected to your brand and ready to support your company in any way possible.
17 percent [of consumers] said they were just avoiding dining-in (opting to pick-up or have food delivered), with 10 percent appearing to lean toward Ordering for Pickup only.Modern Restaurant Management
3. Prepare for online-only business.
A recent study by Rakuten Ready on Modern Restaurant Management found that 57% of consumers do not intend to change their dining behaviors, 17% will opt for only pick-up or delivery, and 20% said they will avoid restaurant dining completely. With restaurants closing their doors during this time, this means the majority of consumers are likely to shift to online ordering for pick-up or delivery. Is your company prepared to handle more online orders?
When it comes to your online customer and brand experience, focus aspects such as easy and efficient usability, good design and responsive websites for mobile apps. For brands offering services or complex products, consider making brief how-to videos to clear any confusion or questions potential customers might have.
No matter your industry, now is the time to ensure your brand is ready to make the shift to online ordering as the coronavirus impacts traditional business.
4. Stay social.
Social distancing and quarantines can create feelings of loneliness and restlessness. Help employees and customers know they are still a part of your brand’s community by engaging them on social media or messaging platforms like Slack and Google Hangouts. Consider creating a private group for your business page that offers customers special discounts, real-time updates, etc. You can even host giveaways that require page likes, post comments, shares and tags to spark engagement with your target audience’s friends and family members.
These efforts will encourage continued conversations and increase sales while creating more brand advocates who are thankful for an engaging community to participate in.
While the coronavirus pandemic is impacting what business looks like in the second quarter of 2020, business executives can take steps toward ensuring a seamless transition to only online, delivery and pickup ordering. Such actions include building employee and customer advocates through engagement and constant communication, as well as preparing your brand’s systems and processes for an influx of online ordering.
At SeeLevel HX, we are ready to support your brand’s needs to maintain its brand experience as you make the shift to focus solely on online selling. Whether you need to test the responsiveness of your mobile application, follow what customers are saying about your brand on social platforms through social media review monitoring, or you simply want to ensure your online customer and brand experience through e-commerce websites remains consistent with your overall brand’s CX and reputation, rest assured we have people for that.
Let’s start a conversation about your brand’s online needs in this unprecedented time. It would be our pleasure to use our database of 792,000 mystery shoppers to help you put your best foot forward during the coronavirus pandemic. Contact us today to get started.