In April, I was able to catch a Salesforce webinar on stories of resilience that was co-hosted by Mark Cuban. During the webinar, a listener wrote in to ask his advice for marketing and messaging during this time. His response was simple and transparent: at this specific moment, small businesses need to connect more than sell.
Behind every sale a small business makes is a customer. Right now, that customer is scared or at least a bit worried about something during COVID-19. Small businesses can provide comfort to their customers that go beyond making a purchase from their storefront. Here are a few ways you can get begin spreading kindness as quickly as today.
Add a handwritten note to orders.
Small business owners are currently working from home and have adjusted their daily routines accordingly to safety/shelter in place structure. As we take the time to make healthy lunches and add meditation to our schedules, how about setting aside 20 minutes to hand write thank you notes?
Put aside 20 minutes daily (if not more) to write physical thank you notes to customers. Not sure what to write? Keep it simple. Write a few sentences thanking them for shopping with you. Talk about how much you love to use the product they purchased or where the inspiration to create it came from. If you’re artistic, add an illustration to the note.
Encourage shoppers to stay connected by including your contact information, including social media handles, website link, and where they may sign up to receive a company newsletter, at the bottom of the card. Customers will be surprised and delighted to see a thoughtful thank you note included with their order.
Engage on social media.
Most individuals spend roughly 90 minutes on social media apps. Our amount of screen time has likely increased significantly during COVID-19. As customers and potential customers scroll through their Instagram and Twitter dashboards, your business has plenty of opportunities at hand for how it may engage and connect on social.
- Repost content. Share the love by spreading it on your social accounts. Fill Instagram Stories with image reposts from customers excited to receive their new products. Retweet tweets from customers about positive interactions with your business.
- Respond to comments. Whether these comments are made as a private message or publicly to your social media page, write back in a timely manner to thank customers for their kind words or address any potential issues or concerns.
- Follow customers. Depending on the platform, follow your loyal customers back. They’ll be thrilled to see their favorite small business follows them!
Take a phone call together.
Many entrepreneurs, including business consultants, PR executives, and real estate professionals, are accustomed to taking calls and meetings with clients. We may not be able to physically meet with customers during this time, but that doesn’t mean we are unable to connect over the phone. Pick up the phone and call clients with whom you have developed a rapport together.
What’s a good icebreaker to open with for this kind of call? Why not start by asking, “How are you doing?” It’s an ordinary question that has an extraordinary impact. Clients, established and brand new alike, are ready to talk. They want to highlight professional and personal aspects of life that are going well, ask for help where they need it, and update you with news on major changes or trends in and out of the industry.
Use this time to have a heartfelt, open conversation. This is one of the greatest opportunities you have to connect on a transparent level. Your kindness and understanding will pay back incredible dividends into the business. Make the time for a long, candid chat. It will pay off in the long term — and is absolutely worth it.
Deborah Sweeney is the CEO of MyCorporation.com which provides online legal filing services for entrepreneurs and businesses, startup bundles that include corporation and LLC formation, registered agent services, DBAs, and trademark and copyright filing services. You can find MyCorporation on Twitter at @MyCorporation.