Without question, for every business, business owner, and employee base, navigating the COVID-19 confusion and chaos is nothing short of overwhelming and a challenge that we didn’t see coming.
With non-essential businesses closed all around the country, and customers and consumers sequestered to their homes, the ability to run your business in a normal – well – the new normal way – may seem impossible.
While the number of things you cannot control right now is in excess, shifting your efforts toward things you can control can help you push through this difficult period and prepare for the future.
Continue to Forge Ahead During These Unsettling Times
With uncertainty surrounding the economy, it is understandable to feel out of sorts and unsure of how best to proceed with your business.
This is truly uncharted territory for every business, so staying calm and making rational, informed decisions is of the utmost importance.
Remember: Your customers may still need or want you and more customers will need and want you after the pandemic passes. Try to stay the course to maintain business functionality and consistent services if possible.
5 Things Your Company Can Do Now to Help Rebound After the Pandemic
1. Keep Customers Informed on What You’re Doing to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19
It’s vital to keep customers informed on the measures you’re taking to protect them during these uncertain times.
- Are you taking phone orders? How are employees protected?
- Are you delivering or shipping products? If so, how is packaging handled?
- Are you providing curb-side pickup? Tell customers the exact steps they should take when arriving at your door.
By providing transparency and consistent updates on how your business is adhering to CDC health and safety regulations, you’re showcasing your commitment to your customers’ overall health and safety and putting minds at ease with your day-to-day operations and for future service.
2. Put Your Email and Phone List to Work
While many areas of business have slowed significantly or come to a halt throughout the pandemic, online communications and phone interactions have surged.
Taking this knowledge to heart and using it to facilitate consistent communications with new and current customers is an excellent method of maintaining business and actively forging strong relationships and potential revenue streams.
Use your email list to:
- Inform customers on what you’re doing to prevent the spread of COVID-19 (See item 1 above)
- Check in with your customer base and ask how they’re doing, as communicating your genuine care during this time and initiating a little relationship-building can go a long way
- If you’re an essential business, inform customers that you are still operating and available to meet their needs
- Communicate how you can still serve customers, despite social distancing
- Invite them to meet you on your website to shop online
- Call current customers for personalized service
- Detail how your services or products are still available, and can be obtained via non-contact ways (like telephone or video consultations, curb-side pickup, delivery, etc.)
- Offer additional ways to contact and communicate with your business, like email, phone, video/FaceTime conference, online chat, etc.
- Ensure customers that their health is a constant priority
- Promote your social media channels and invite customers to view your social profiles to remain current with what your business is up to
By dedicating time to calling customers and growing your email list to compose and send helpful, relevant content, you’re setting your business up for success after the pandemic. Statistics show that email is the most direct and reliable way of getting in touch with customers.
3. Focus on An Increased Social Media Presence
While a decrease in foot traffic, face-to-face interactions or inbound phone calls is detriment to your business model, using this time of social distancing to improve alternative methods of connecting with your customer base is absolutely essential.
Consumers and customers are connecting, buying, and finding businesses and services online more than ever before. When you commit purposeful time to setting up and improving your social media presence, you can significantly improve your customer appeal and set your business up for increased customer connectivity and visibility in the future.
4. Serve Customers through Other Digital Channels
- Enhance your website by adding an email opt-in, adding social media links, ensuring your phone number and email are easy to find, and adding new content. Focus increased efforts into making it easier for customers to connect with you during these times of social isolation. Be sure to test your website using different browser types and for mobile access.
- Set up video conferencing to consult with customers or sell your products or service. Whether it’s to show a puppy, to demonstrate a portable oxygen concentrator, to consult on providing hearing aids, or to show a piece of furniture to deliver later, those who are in quarantine appreciate digital, face-to-face meetings.
5. Enroll in UCFS’ Consumer Financing Program – if you’re not already offering low monthly payments.
With so many people experiencing financial strain because of lost or furloughed jobs due to COVID-19, plan now for when customers return. If you are a UCFS partner offering consumer financing, customers can make their purchase with low monthly payments.
- Complete a merchant application: There is no fee to sign up and no minimum usage requirements. Allow several days for merchant application processing.
- Submit online credit applications for your customers: When business resumes – or even now – customers might not have the up-front cash to cover the cost of your service or products.
- Get alerted to credit application status: Within minutes, your business is alerted to the credit app approval (dependent on credit quality).
- Once the consumer’s contract is signed: Your business is paid within a few days and UCFS handles repayment from the customer over the life of the loan.
By aligning your business with a consumer financing option – one that works in the best interest of you and your customer base, like UCFS – you can support your customers and business during these tough times and in the future.
BONUS: What Do You Wish You Had Extra Time to Tackle?
Business won’t be slow forever. Look at this time as a period of growth, because business may change, but you’ll have jam-packed days in the future.
- What new skills have you wanted to learn?
- What projects have you been meaning to start or finish?
- What new service have you wanted to add to your business offerings?
- In what ways could your team or employee base improve?
Use this slow time to focus energy in places that will not only have you ready to successfully rebound, but also open back up ahead of the competition.
We’re Here to Help: Let UCFS Support You While You Support Your Customers
With UCFS as your consumer financing partner, you can show every potential customer that your services come attached to an easy and affordable financing option that works with most budgets, including no-interest, same-as-cash options.
We are a leading provider of fixed-term consumer financing, and we work with professionals in a wide array of industries to provide the best consumer financing services available today.
Have questions about getting started with consumer financing or need more information on how UCFS can benefit both you and your customers?