Top 5 tips for easing your business through the crisis

Emma Cowley, Brand & Digital Marketing Manager at Rangemaster, shares how she believes businesses should respond to the COVID-19 crisis

Emma Cowley

With most of the nation at home due to Government guidelines and the COVID-19 crisis, now is the time to evaluate your marketing plans and make sure that your business is visible and keeps communicating with customers – regardless of whether they are new, existing, or potential! Taking the time now, rather than when you’re allowed to open your showroom ‘properly’, will give you a head start on your competitors – try these tips to help your business:

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1. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Communication is key – your customers won’t know if you’re open for business unless you tell them. Are you offering virtual consultations via video or phone? Let them know that you are ‘virtually open’ – not closed – with a statement on your website and social media. This is the time to show the possibilities and encourage your customers to explore the different products and designs that are available to them. Communicate and get creative.

2. Grow your social media presence

Engaging on social media is a sure fire way to increase your contacts and strengthen the relationship with your customers. Look at providing useful and interesting content, such as recipes or how-to videos, that will allow you to connect with your audience. Social media is free to use and now is as good a time as any to look at how your brand is portrayed to the world. Your customers might not be able to visit your showroom, but that doesn’t mean you can’t film yourself (on a phone or camera) giving a ‘virtual’ tour that you can share on Facebook or Instagram. Why not try a product demonstration or Q&A – the opportunities are out there.

You can also look at paid-for opportunities on social media and with everyone at home and online, it’s an effective way to increase awareness to a wider audience.

3. Update your website

The consumer journey often begins with browsing online (even before COVID-19) and your website represents a great opportunity to showcase your USPs and make a valuable first impression. Now is the time to do the all-important digital spring cleaning that you might have been putting off for a little while; with showrooms closed, your website is one of your most important assets now. Take a fresh look at it through ‘customer goggles’ taking note of:

– Are your contact details easy to find?
– Is the site easy to navigate?
– Do the pictures represent your current offering?
– Have you got links to your social media profiles?

4. Take the time to evaluate

Have you stopped and looked at your showroom recently? Is it working as hard as it could? You might have some jobs that you’ve been putting off, and what better time to change up the layout or enhance your displays ready for the home improvement-hungry customers to emerge when the situation settles down. You don’t need to replace all of your displays to make a difference, often it’s the small changes (such as using different accessories) that make the biggest impact. Put aside some time to assess your business, for example, step outside and review your window display – is it inviting, does it reflect the latest trends or what your company can do for its customers?

5. Be prepared

Don’t wait until the lockdown has lifted to figure out the ways your business will need to adapt; consider the changes you need to make to ensure that your showroom is safe (for you, your staff and customers) and showcases your offering at its best.

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And remember, as a member of the KBB industry, you are not alone: so whether it’s looking to the manufacturers you work with to update the POS material, or taking part in a software provider’s webinar to further your abilities using design suites, there are still a wealth of opportunities to further your business.