As the world continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic, businesses have had to change the way they operate. The best way to help customers find accurate information about your business is to make sure they’re aware of all changes that affect their experience. Think operating hours, in-store policies and capacity limits, changes to shipping or exchange/return policies, service options for restaurants, etc. These changes may also include positive benefits for customers, such as free online shipping when stores are closed, free food delivery, or virtual appointments and meetings (saves gas!).
Because people look for information about a business in so many different places, it’s important to have a process for communicating across a variety of channels. Follow this 6-step process to quickly and consistently communicate business changes to customers.
#1 – Update Your Google Business Profile
This is especially important for local businesses, as this is how most people will quickly find your hours, phone number, address, website, reviews, and get one-click directions to you. If your hours change, make the update on your Google listing first and foremost. For restaurants, you can even specify dine-in, curbside pickup, and delivery options that will display right on your Google listing.
#2 – Take To Social Media
Next, announce any changes on your social pages. For critical changes, like changes to operating hours or a new policy requiring masks in your store, pin the announcement to the top of your page.
#3 – Send An Email
Many businesses will agree that email is still their most effective means of communicating with customers. While a general blast to your whole list will suffice, also consider segmenting your lists so that you can communicate business changes only to those customers affected (i.e. one doctor’s hours are changing). When customers receive information that is relevant to them, they’re more likely to stay engaged and continue opening emails from you.
#4 – Send A Text
If you use SMS marketing, a quick text is a great way to communicate business changes to customers who have opted into your list.
#5 – Tell The Media
Use an online press release to communicate your business changes. A press release has several distinct advantages. First, it gives you the platform to provide context. Especially if customers may be inconvenienced, it helps to give your reasoning (i.e. a yoga studio is choosing to remain closed because the owner has a high-risk family member). Next, it may catch the attention of journalists. If your business changes will have a major impact on your community, it may warrant a mention in your local news. We’d go a step further and say that if this is the case, you should proactively reach out to local journalists and share your press release directly. Finally, an online press release has SEO value. If someone searches your company name along with a question, Google may return your press release as a search result.
#6 – Update Your Website
Update your business hours, policy changes, and anything else your customers need to know on your website. A lot of businesses are using banners on their homepage to communicate policy changes and important notices “Due to COVID-19.” This is a great way to quickly get the information on your website without any major changes to your site.
Online PR Media Is Here To Help!
2020 has thrown us quite a few curveballs, and we’ve learned to bob and weave and adapt and overcome! Stay connected with your customers and let them know about any business changes that affect them using a variety of channels. If you have any questions about using online press releases, we’re here to help!