We’re not sure which will be the most exciting post-Corona experience:
- A watch party where you get to be in the same room as your friends
- Going outside without a mask fogging up your glasses
- Hanging an “Open for Business” sign back on your door
Well, that last one does fill us with a special thrill.
The US is past the peak of coronavirus infections, and many states and regions are starting to reopen the economy. It’s time to start the music, light the lights, and prepare your small business to roar back to full speed.
1. Shout it from the rooftops
You’re delighted that you can get back to “normal” business life, so don’t keep it quiet! Make sure that everyone knows that you’ve returned to your regular opening hours and that all of your services are available again.
Even if you pivoted your business to operate online, or you’ve been able to carry on offering some services remotely, you still want to tell the whole world that you’re able to deliver your full raft of products or services. Yay!
That means making announcements on absolutely every channel. We’re talking about:
- A big, eye-catching image on your Instagram, Facebook, and other social media platforms that lets everyone know that you’re back
- A huge banner announcement on your website that proclaims that your services are all available again
- Email newsletters with a very clear and bold subject line that announces your return
- Physical flyers poked through mailboxes close to your business location
- A massive sign and banner hanging outside your physical store, salon, or work premises to tell everyone that you’re open as usual
Don’t just make these announcements once. Share, rinse, repeat!
Send out more than one email announcement, spaced a few days apart. Repost and reshare your social media ads and posts, and refresh your online and real-world banners with new colors and copy after a week or so, so that they’ll attract new eyes.
2. Get personal with your customers
Don’t be scared to get personal! The best thing about being a small business is that you’re able to have a real relationship with your clientele and give them more personal service than a large corporation.
It’s their relationship with you that keeps them coming back, so make that a big focus of your post-Corona outreach.
Just imagine seeing an open invitation from your best friend telling the whole world about a party she’s planning vs. getting a private invitation from her that’s just for you. When you get the private invitation, you feel cared for, valued, and seen. Even if you’re not so much in the mood to party, you’d still come for her, right?
When you re-open shop, invite your customers to party! Send them a personalized message over WhatsApp, text, chatbot or email inviting them to book an appointment with you post-Corona.
Hopefully, you’re already using vcita’s CRM to segment your customers into groups according to their interests, favorite services, demographics, and other factors, so it won’t be hard for you to create a personalized message and/or email for each and every customer.
Make sure that you:
- Address your customer by name. “Hey, Andrea,” has a very different sound than “Dear customer”
- Refer to your relationship with them, like “I’ve missed our chats during your mani-pedis” or “Can’t wait to see you burning those calories again!”
- Mention the services that your customer uses the most, e.g. “We’re open again for eyebrow shaping” or “Your doggy’s favorite shampoo session is waiting for him”
3. Make an offer financially-strapped customers can’t refuse
Even if your customers wrote you love letters during your long separation, telling you how they were pining away, love does not always conquer all.
The corona crisis hit everyone’s finances to some extent, and even dedicated customers might be counting their pennies. They may need a financial incentive to push them to make an appointment.
If you suspect or feel hesitation, try some ideas for magnetic offers:
- Special post-corona pricing for a limited time only
- Send your loyal customers an exclusive discount code for their first post-corona appointment. (That makes them feel extra-extra special)
- A “buy-one-get-one-free offer” encourages your customers to make at least two appointments, which could be just what they need to get them back into their pre-corona habit of a monthly massage or weekly gym class
- A refer-a-friend incentive is a double whammy that can bring back your existing customers and add new ones as well
4. Get back to business with a bang
Make your post-corona return an awesome event that attracts everybody’s interest.
If you don’t have money to spare on a lavish post-corona event (customers aren’t the only ones who are counting pennies…), you can still make a big deal out of your reopening.
Tease everyone with pre-relaunch announcements in the form of short video segments. You can shoot and edit them yourself on a smartphone using a good video editing app and share on your Instagram story, FB page, and WhatsApp status. It doesn’t have to be anything complicated; just showing you and your team working hard to clean up your premises and polish the windows can attract interest. (Bonus points if you show yourself sanitizing your equipment – it’s a clever way to remind everyone that they can trust you to protect their health.)
When you reopen, invest in a few helium balloons and streamers to make it into a celebration. String up a mock red ribbon for you or a local VIP to cut, and add some dramatic music to make a fun post-corona reopening video that you can post on social media and raise your profile even higher.
5. Give them what they want, what they really really want
How many times over the past few weeks have you wished that someone would just give you a big hug and tell you that everything’s going to be ok? Let you know that they have everything under control and you can just relax?
Guess what? Your customers want the exact same thing. So fulfil their secret wishes by adding a few new post-corona packages that give your customers the care, safety and stability that they really, really want.
A hair stylist, for example, could offer a special post-corona pampering package with hair nourishing treatments, deep conditioning products, and a complimentary scalp massage.
A beautician might offer a mani-pedi, eyebrow shaping, and facial package for people who’ve been in lockdown and couldn’t get to a beautician for weeks.
Everyone has had enough of living a topsy-turvy life, so focus on ways that you’ll help your clients discover their “pre-corona” selves again.
6. Be their rock of safety in an uncertain world
After spending several weeks in lockdown, your clients need reassurance that it’s safe to come back to your salon or office, or to invite you to do work at their home. You’ve got to be their rock of safety and sanitization in a world that’s still got a few too many viruses floating around.
Be very specific about your business’ health and safety measures: over email, on your website and on every channel you communicate on. Include things like:
- All our employees wear masks at all times
- We check each employee’s temperature every day
- Our premises/salon/gym/office is deep-cleaned every week
- We changed our appointment scheduling so that there are only 3 customers in the salon at one time, to allow us to observe safe distancing
But don’t just tell them. Show your customers your commitment to health and hygiene:
- Have a bottle of hand gel on your front desk
- Check each customer’s temperature before they come into your office
- You can even consider repaiting your office in white to look more clean hygienic
Think what you can do to reassure nervous clients who want to make an appointment, but are scared about the risk of infection.
Ready to bounce back into business?
Put a smile on your face (you can actually see it now without the mask!) and pull up your sleeves (no gloves required!).
This is your golden opportunity to bounce back and make your post-corona business stronger than ever before!