The initial rush to lockdown and the uncertainty caused by this crisis means many businesses are in survival mode.
However, as the lockdown rules are beginning to ease and a roadmap of how we make the slow return towards something like normality we know that a business must plan to recover but that plan is unlikely to be business as usual.
A recovery plan will likely mean change within your business as we adapt to new rules and a new way of consumer buying.
To help here are 8 steps your business will need to consider as you can start preparing for recovery.
Grow your audience
More consumers are online now due to COVID-19. If you can capture some of this online traffic then you won't have to keep paying Google to drive traffic back in the future.
To capture that extra online traffic you need to engage with the new audience. If you aren't able to service your customers because of the COVID-19 crisis you should still communicate with them.
If you keep communicating in a helpful, positive way it will help your brand stand out from your competitors. This communication will not be forgotten as things start to return towards normal.
Prepare your communications
How your company responds during this crisis will have a major impact on the customers purchasing from you in the future. How you communicate through the recovery period needs to remain consistent. Maintain your tone and empathy throughout.
Insights from Zinkler UK show consumer confidence is growing slowly over time, however, how you handle your communications at this time is pivotal.
A recent survey by Endelman demonstrates the importance of your brand communications:
- 21 per cent of UK consumers have already convinced other people to stop using a brand they thought were not acting appropriately to the pandemic
- 54 per cent say they are not paying attention to new products unless they help with their pandemic related life changes
- 83 per cent of consumers say they want brands to connect people
- 64 per cent of UK consumers want brands to use email as a channel to communicate about the virus and their response to the pandemic
Understanding new audience behaviour
Right now it's impossible to predict what long term behaviour changes there will be, but they will happen. As we go through the crisis we have reverted to becoming more conservative and more risk-averse. We are worrying about our health over any material gains.
According to Forrester, consumers plan to be more cautious when we return to a form of new normal. Currently, 37% of consumers prefer to satisfy their core needs whilst staying indoors.
You might need to reassess any customer personas you already have. How are your products relevant in the new world? Do they meet the new needs of your customers? Your business will need to understand if there are any changes in the behaviours of your target market.
Define the new customer journey
As your target market's behaviours change so too will the customer journey. Analysis by Marketing Week and Econsultancy found that 62 per cent of B2C marketers say COVID-19 has caused a radical change to the customer journey compared with 51 per cent of those working in B2B.
As more of us shift to buying online gaps are being found in the customer experience. Brands are learning new things about customer journey that can be used beyond the crisis. The study also shows that nearly 30% of businesses have reallocated budget and attention from acquisition to retention.
Trust is important
Trust in a brand has always been important but as we work through this crisis it's becoming vital. Consumers are very switched on to how brands are seen to be operating through the COVID-19 crisis.
How you protect your employees, customers and others will matter more than ever. Your tone of voice and how you communicate will both make a difference in how your brand is perceived right now and in the future.
Agility is the new normal
As we enter the recovery period brands need to stay agile. The importance of changing messaging and content has increased, so you need a process to be in place to be able to update either at short notice.
As we have worked through this crisis our businesses have had to make fast-paced decisions. That new agile way of thinking is here to stay.
Assess your technology stack
How is your technology performing during the crisis? Your technology should be helping your business to perform. What might have been the correct setup at the start of the year might well need to change as we move through this crisis.
Work with the relevant teams in your business to ensure the right infrastructure is in place to meet all business objectives. Then make sure they integrate, that they are secure and that they help everyone in the business be productive.
Normal might be a long way away but as a country, we are starting to take the first tentative steps towards it. Understanding how your consumers will act as we work through the crisis and beyond is important.
The technology your business uses will play a role through this transition. For help choosing and setting up the right technology to meet your recover plan talk to Infotech today. You can contact us here, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on 01634 52 52 52.