3 ways to use digital tools to keep your business running through the COVID-19 crisis

Products mentioned
Communicate, build loyalty, optimise strategies

Life during the COVID-19 pandemic  is unlike anything we’ve experienced in our professional lives. With government locking down the country and enforcing social distancing rules, its business unusual for most of us, putting our agility and resilience to the test.

As entrepreneurs, we are lucky in the sense that we are used to making our own way in trying times and rapidly adapting to change. Whether your business already has an online component or you’re creating brand new offerings, now is the time to be creative, not only to survive, but to become stronger after the crisis.

At GoDaddy, we have thousands of customers (and guides who are also entrepreneurs) in South Africa and the rest of the world. We’ve been listening to their discussions, and have distilled the three essential things you can do to keep your business healthy.

1. Communicate business changes to your customers

When things are unsettled, people look for information. One of the best and simplest things you can do to help your customers is to update your website home page and contact information.

But, what else?

  • Update your business hours and contact information in other places, such as Google My Business , and let them know this is updated information. If you’ve connected to your business Facebook or Instagram page, that information is automatically updated through your Websites + Marketing
  • Keep in touch with your customers via email. Let them know what’s going on. How is your business the same? How is it changing? End with one call-to-action or just ask your customers how they are doing and what they need.
  • Share a post on social media about what’s going on behind the scenes, something inspirational, or something people need to know or do. Or ask people to share what’s going on in their lives and tag you (which could also provide good material for reviews and testimonials).

Finally, tell your story. Add a blog and post when you can. One of the most common business expressions is, “people buy from people they know, like, and trust.” Stories are the best way to let people get to know and like you, and by extension trust you and become loyal.

Done is better than perfect. And in these times, something is far preferable to nothing at all. So share your story. Let people get to know you.

2. Build customer loyalty

The best way to build customer loyalty is by connecting with stories. However, there are other things you can do to help.

To start, customer reviews and testimonials go a long way in building trust. While you’re updating your website and contact information, take a moment to update your customer reviews and testimonials.

If you’re a business transitioning from in-person to online, give your customers a way to support you. Something you can do is create gift cards so people can still buy your services using Yoco, Gift Card Solutions or any other virtual gift card service.

Also consider an ecommerce website  as a way for people to buy your services and products. If you are running a WordPress website, you can use the WooCommerce plugin to get an ecommerce store up-and-running in double-quick time. WooCommerce supports many of South Africa’s popular payment gateways.

GoDaddy and WooCommerce have teamed up to make building an online store with WordPress easier than ever. Our plan WordPress Ecommerce Hosting  for South African businesses comes with a pre-installed online store powered by WooCommerce, plus premium extensions.

3. Analyse and improve your business strategies

While updating your business info is quick, and building customer loyalty is ongoing, analysing and improving your business strategy takes time and thought.

Perhaps you recently reviewed your business strategy as part of your New Year resolutions. If so, it’s time to do it again. If not, now’s the chance to start. There’s no time like the present!

If your business is not online, it’s time to figure out how to create an online component.

  • In-person services like fitness trainers can set up online appointments and offer virtual classes instead of face-to-face appointments. If you’re a beautician, you could offer a beauty tips session for clients until they can come back to your salon in person.
  • If you’re running a food business, you can look at using OrderIn, MrD Food or Uber Eats to set up online ordering and delivery.
  • Look at whether the tools you provide your team are fit for the purpose of working from home. Do you need to invest in new software or devices to keep everyone productive?
  • Everyone else is cutting back on marketing and advertising. Could this be a good time for you to use paid search and social to build your brand while there’s less competition for quality audiences or in-demand keywords?

You can do this!

If you need a helping hand, we’re here for you.

Image by: Technology photo created by creativeart - www.freepik.com