The impact of COVID-19 on the lives of people and on businesses has been severe. People have had to stay a long time at home due to the lockdown. Many businesses have been closed and have taken a serious hit in terms of finance. It is not one particular segment that has been affected but many businesses. Whether it is a fitness center, a spa, a salon, or a restaurant everyone has been affected due to Covid-19 and the resulting lockdown. Businesses have remained closed for a long time fearing the spreading of infection. Thankfully, the lockdown is getting over and normalcy is being restored.
The post-COVID19 situation has thrown up more challenges. Businesses are not just re-opening but they need to reboot their business. This is a great challenge, as they need to take into account safety protocols and at the same time get customers to come in to get revenue. There are many strategies that can help businesses to do this. The article examines the key issues involved and focuses on how mass texting can be very helpful in reaching out to customers.
Rebooting the business
Here are some general guidelines to reboot a business-post COVID-19:
• The first thing is to take stock of the situation and put things in place. Understanding the inventory position, and staff position is the first step.
• Safety and hygiene protocols need to be updated to keep in mind social distancing and any other government norms.
• Proper cleaning of the business and making it ready for customers is needed.
• Fitness centers can run virtual classes for customers and can commence immediately with the online infrastructure in place.
• Other businesses need to make a marketing plan to bring back customers. This may require reducing prices, offering special packages, and reworking strategies.
• Updating the website is important. If required, new brochures or menus (for restaurants) need to be printed.
• Staff members need to be trained on new strategies and new changes.
• Once all this is a place, then it is time to get in touch with the customers. The customers need to be informed of the new date of re-opening, new protocols, new pricing, offers, etc. This communication strategy plays a key role in rebooting the business. While sales personnel can use telephonic calls and personal visits (if possible) to engage with customers, mass texting will prove to be a game-changer in this situation.
Mass texting for a business reboot
Whatever may be the type of business, mass texting is a great strategy to reach out and engage with customers. It is a simple and easy strategy to implement. All that is needed is a database of phone numbers and texting software to get it done. This is far more effective than email marketing and telephone marketing. Text messages reach instantly and more than 97% of recipients would read the message.
Mass texting is the right way to start engaging with customers. This is how it can be done effectively:
• The first thing is to let customers know that you are open again. A welcome message can be sent to all past customers, as well as leads to let them know you are back in operation. The message can mention the date of restarting with changed timings.
• It is important to let customers know of new safety protocols (regular sanitization, implementing social distancing, use of masks, etc). All this information can be sent through an SMS. The SMS can be used to send a link to the webpage with more details.
• The next important thing to do is to bring back regular customers. Those who were enrolled at the fitness center or visiting the restaurant need to come back. A special welcome offer can be created and this can be communicated through a text message. Follow-up text messages can be sent to encourage customers to drop in.
• Special offers can be given to loyal customers with a huge discount to bring them back. They can help in getting more business and hence need priority attention. Keywords can be used in messages to encourage customers to reply. On receipt of keywords, further information can be provided through automated messages or by a salesperson.
• Once customers are contacted, then leads and inquiries need to be messaged. A strategy needs to be put in place to bring them to the business. It can be an introductory free fitness session, or a buy one get one offer to entice them to visit. All this communication can happen through text messaging.
• Continued engagement with customers through text messaging can be helpful in bringing them back. This can ensure revenue inflow once the business is restarted.
As businesses gear up to reboot operations post COVID-19, text messaging can be very helpful in this. The guidelines given in this article can help use mass texting to bring back customers.