Very few people or businesses globally have escaped the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. So many firms have been knocked back or found normalcy paused while we all discovered ways to continue to support staff and customers during the lockdown. And now, as lockdown restrictions are being eased and the world is slowly finding a new path forwards, it’s time to plan for the ‘new normal’. How will your business come back stronger for the post COVID-19 world?
Improve Your Web Experience
When was the last time you gave your website a thorough look over? Now’s the time to do it. You may think that you’ve built a seamless user experience but do your customers agree? Get back to basics and explore your website through the eyes of a potential customer looking at it for the first time. Is it easy to find contact information? Is it simple to locate services and products, Is your online purchasing experience seamless to use?
Go through your website and check how it works in detail. Consider these questions:
- Is your website able to be used on smartphones?
- Do you have a strong brand image on your website?
- Can your customers access everything they will need in order to interact with you?
- Should you have a chatbot to increase customer retention?
Keep A Virtual Office
Like so many other businesses, you may have found yourself suddenly thrown into the world of virtual offices. Trying to implement work from home strategies might have put you on the back foot but, now they’re in place, it’s wise to keep them. Virtual offices allow your staff to be more flexible in balancing their home and work lives and remote working has been shown to encourage greater productivity and it is, of course, better for the environment. Happier employees means happier customers, so there’s nothing to be lost in keeping virtual offices working past lockdown.
- Use these tools to keep virtual offices effective:
- Remote access software
- Video conferencing
- Cloud storage
- Electronic document signature
Beef Up Your Cyber Security
Cybercriminals are, unfortunately, pretty clever, so it’s important to expect them from the outset. They’re interested in your intellectual property, customer data, personal information about your staff, and access to any funds they can hack into, so you will need to have effective cyber security prepared to counter any efforts from hackers.
Either hire or contract an expert in IT security to instil strong measures to keep your business safe. They will most likely advise on a number of tactics that you can start to implement before even hiring them, such as writing a password policy for your staff, having a data backup and protection plans, and keeping and using a secure protocol for your wireless networks.
Maximise Your SEO
Anyone with a business who has been online for any length of time will have been told of the wonders of ‘search engine optimisation’. But how much of that advice has actually sunk in? Do you have good web rankings? If customers search for you, can they actually find you – or is a rival company swiping them from you?
Checking on the health of your SEO is something that must be done regularly, and is a process rather than a single exercise. Check in with Google Analytics and Google Search Console to find out how web browsers are interacting with your online presence. And then work to improve it. Undertake a full SEO audit to analyse the technical aspects of improving your search engine rankings – sitemaps, meta data, accessibility, and indexing. It’s hard work that takes time, but you’ll see results when your business takes off online.
Keep Customers Informed of Changes
Like many businesses, you are probably running social media accounts so that customers can directly interact with the human face of your company. But how much do you use social media to communicate with customers? With so many businesses facing delays, changes, or complete overhauls as to how they conduct business, social media is a vital channel through which to keep customers informed and define what they can expect over the coming months. Email and social media marketing are two of the most effective tools by which to keep your customer base engaged and informed. Keep them up to date with posts and messages, and use ad tracking to judge how many of your customers are responding and interacting with your posts. If they’re not, then find out why