Preparing and Sustaining Australian Businesses for COVID-19
In this unprecedented time we at Avenue De Saxe wanted to offer some suggestions and opportunities for your consideration to help mitigate some of the potential negative impacts of this new economic environment we are finding ourselves in.
For all the potential tough times ahead, one thing that’s certain is that business will go on and it will likely be businesses that stay positive, look for opportunities and keep moving that will come out the better for it.
Here are some actions that might be worth considering for your business to successfully manage the months ahead.
Add Live Web Chat systems on your website
With conditions and advice changing rapidly, having a live chat available on your website will allow you to answer questions immediately and with the latest information at hand.
Some benefits include:
- Live chatting will speed up your customer service and maintain a positive customer experience
- Provide your customers with instant answers in real time.
- It is the fastest way to help your customers if they cannot come into the store
- Live chat is a personal, non-intrusive form of contact. You’ll be able to connect better with your customers and build their trust.
- It can provide an entry point for your customers to connect and therefore could lead into other digital avenues of service.
- Provides a new task for employees to perform on a daily basis.
- You can be chatting with multiple customers simultaneously, rather than one at a time via phone
- If you have a WordPress site, then live chat can be up and running rapidly.
Offer remote consultations & video meetings
Now is the time to consider all the digital tools we’ve had for a while but perhaps never fully taken advantage of. Video and web conferencing tools such as Google Hangouts, Zoom meetings, Skype or FaceTime will allow you to maintain face to face contact and a human connection from the safety of your home.
Remote meetings & consultation benefits:
- Provide a new and novel way of connecting and doing business with your customers
- Allow you to take new leads and convert these consultations into future clients
- Keep pre-existing scheduled appointments
- Connect and engage with your customers even if it is in the form of free content such as tutorials from your industry or entertaining content to maintain brand loyalty
If you have an existing e-Commerce website consider implementing a promotion to drive sales or grow your mailing list. Obviously the simple option might be a sale or offer such as free delivery but you can get creative and engage your audience to spread the word and support small local businesses.
Some other ideas might include
- Introduce a gift-card system to drive sales now that can be redeemed for future use
- If you don’t currently have e-Commerce capability consider building this into your website to allow sales to continue while foot traffic is down
- If your business currently doesn’t offer online sales or delivery considering implementing changes
- Offer self delivery
Email marketing campaigns
- Inform your customers or clients of any news as it relates to them and your business
- Update and advise on any changes to opening hours or cancellations
- Create marketing segmented lists of customers who are loyal to you in this pandemic to be able to reward them when things have returned to normal
- Assure customers you are calm, proactive and serious about their concerns
Review your website and social media strategies
- Post COVID-19 information on your website and how it relates to your customers
- Update your home page and create a dedicated COVID-19 Information page to help direct your audience to the most reliable source of information relating to your business
- Utilise pop-ups and link any contact details to your mailing list for future marketing lists or updates
- Produce new COVID-19 branded scheduled updates for your social media audience
- Share your experience, whether it’s office or home based with Instagram Stories. Eg any behind the scenes content from your experience in social distancing
- Utilise your existing website
Produce COVID-19 Collateral
For larger workplaces with many staff, produce instructional posters and flyers to place around worksites with critical information to protect both staff and customers Information such as:
- Hand-washing and sanitisation policies
- Medical policies
- Sick leave policies
- Government and health website URLs
- Government and health directives and rules
Move to cloud-based apps and file storage systems
I’d hope by now most businesses have leveraged at least some cloud based software and introduced technology into their operation but if you haven’t – now is the perfect time to take the plunge.
- Utilise technology such as Google Drive, Box.com or Dropbox for file storage
- Train your staff on remote working, syncing files and folders
- Use project management apps such as Trello, Monday, Asana or one of the many other tools to track project progress, log time, communicate with employees.
- Communicate with employees through Slack, Discord, Google Chat, Skype
A side note on this one – at Avenue De Saxe we use and are well-versed in the following tools:
- G Suite (Gmail, Drive, Docs, Sheets)
- Google Drive Filestream (File storage)
- Dropbox (File storage)
- Xero (accounting)
- Trello (Project management)
- Google Hangouts/Chat (internal video conferencing/chat)
- Zoom (external video conferencing)
Staying safe and playing your part
It goes without saying that keeping yourself and your staff healthy during this time is the number one priority but it’s also important to keep communicating with your customers and reassure them you’re there when you need them.
Remember to follow the following steps to ensure your safety:
- Ensure your workplace practices are aligned to the Australian Government
- Department of Health COVID-19 guidelines
- Perform comprehensive self evaluation regarding health status, symptom detection & travel activity of themselves and family
- Adhere to travel restrictions, both international and domestic
- Apply Dept of Health practices of “Social Distancing”, “personal hygiene” and “work station segregation”
We’re here to assist!
At Avenue De Saxe, our goal is to continue supporting our current clients and be agile and responsive to rapidly implement whatever they need to maintain services with minimal disruption, both operationally and commercially.
If you are in need of some help or guidance, please get in touch.