Coronavirus Updates and Resources

How Small Businesses Can Keep Customers Engaged during COVID-19 Outbreak

Published on March 25, 2020

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In an effort to mitigate the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), millions of Americans are practicing social distancing by staying inside, canceling plans, and avoiding crowds. While these sacrifices help keep our communities safe, there is no denying the negative impact they’ve had on the economy in recent weeks. Many small businesses, particularly those that rely on foot traffic and face-to-face interactions, have been forced to close their doors and cease normal business operations temporarily.

Despite the challenges that come with social distancing, there are ways for small businesses to stay connected to quarantined customers using digital means of communication. Here are a few strategies to keep your customers informed and engaged through the COVID-19 outbreak:     

Email

With so many consumers at home, connected to their computers, smartphones, and other tech devices, email is an obvious choice for communication between small businesses and customers during the coronavirus pandemic. This is the easiest way to let your customers know how your business is addressing the outbreak and how normal business operations will be affected.

Email is by far the most popular means of communication at the moment, so it’s important to be mindful of how many emails you are sending and the type of information you are providing. You don’t want to bombard your customers’ inbox with unnecessary updates on top of the hundreds of other emails they are likely receiving from other companies. Limit your email communications by only providing essential, relevant information about coronavirus and your business that your customers will find helpful and reassuring. Email promotions, like free delivery for online orders will cater to quarantined customers and are a great way to draw in purchases.

Social Media

This is a great time to increase your social media presence. Social media activity has surged in recent weeks, as isolated individuals are checking in frequently for virus-related updates and staying connected to friends and family in quarantine. Use social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to share light, positive content that will keep your audience happy and informed during the COVID-19 outbreaks. These platforms are a great way to share company updates and initiatives without overwhelming your customers’ inbox.

Social media is also a great way to respond to your customers’ inquiries and complaints quickly. If you are receiving more inquires than usual because of disrupted business operations due to the coronavirus, you might want to consider assigning a customer support specialist to address these in a timely manner.

Video Chat and Live Stream

If your business relies heavily on face-to-face interactions, consider using video conferencing options, such as Skype, Zoom, or FaceTime, to address your customers virtually. Many professionals, such as teachers, therapists, and fitness instructors, have also been able to extend their services to remote clients using live video stream. This is a great way to keep your customers engaged and interested in your service as they practice social distancing. If you are uncomfortable with live video stream, pre-record and post instructional videos and presentations to your website or social media accounts.

Website

If you want to provide more detailed, in-depth content to your customers during the COVID-19 outbreak, use your company website to share blog posts, FAQ’s, protocols, and press releases. Some businesses have even created a dedicated landing page on their website where customers can access all their coronavirus-related content in one place. This is also a great platform to share information about exclusive online deals and special services offered during the quarantine. Be sure to include a link to your website in your email communications and social media posts, so customers know where to access your content.

With so many digital communication platforms at our disposal, it is possible to connect with customers regularly and effectively – even during a pandemic. If you still have questions about navigating your small business through the COVID-19 outbreak, be sure to check out our list of helpful resources.

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Our mission at e-Health is to support the health and well-being of individuals and small-business. For small business advice, tips, and information on group coverage visit eHealth.com.

For information and guidelines specific to the coronavirus outbreak, visit cdc.gov.

This article is for general information and should not be relied on as medical advice. Check with a medical professional for medical advice.

We’ll let you know when we publish anything new.