The COVID-19 pandemic has completely upended how we conduct business, for better and for worse.
However, savvy business owners don’t let a good crisis go to waste, to quote the inimitable Winston Churchill.
In any crisis, there is opportunity, and the pandemic has opened the business world to a massive trove of them. As we wriggle our way out of the pandemic, here are five steps marketers can take to maximize the “new normal” ways of business.
Solidify remote worker policies. Many companies shifted to remote working arrangements during the outset of the pandemic. While some companies are returning workers to the office, others have decided to make the move to fully remote work. Optimal.com, for example, with waterfront offices in Kirkland, has decided to allow employees to work from anywhere, if they want to. Now’s the time for your business to decide how and when to handle your workforce and to make your policies clear to your team.
While predicting more volatility in 2022, many CEOs surveyed by CNBC also saw opportunities for companies to solidify their competitive advantages as we emerge from the pandemic: “CEOs see opportunity in the changes already made during Covid to become permanent competitive advantages and for global economic growth to remain strong.”
Promote remote work options in recruitment campaigns. If you do shift to remote work, you can reap the benefits of casting a much wider recruiting net. Need help getting your hiring efforts off on the right foot? Contact Bellingham PR & Communications; we understand the Whatcom County business market and can help track down great hires from a larger footprint, too.
Survey customers to ask them how you can better serve them. Your customers have had to deal with new ways of working during the pandemic, too. Perhaps they’ve gotten used to ordering online or opting for virtual rather than in-person consultations. Put together a survey — or reach out to your customers individually — to ask them what they like and don’t like about changes you’ve made during the pandemic.
An article in Harvard Business Review stated that while customer relationships mattered before the pandemic, today they are everything. Part of the answer, according to HBR, is to sell solutions, not products. Ask your customers what they need so you can work to give them what they need.
Take steps to improve technology. To function well, team members need the right tools for the job. If the pandemic has led to an increased reliance on technology, your business might want to consider a commensurate investment in upgrades. Additionally, once you’ve digested the results of your customer survey, you can decide where money might be well spent on digital improvements. Maybe you need a faster web server, a more reliable phone system, a better way to schedule appointments online, or a redesigned e-commerce experience that helps customers better find what they’re looking for.
A recent Pew Research Center survey sees a highly technological future in store, with our yearning for convenience and safety fueling a reliance on digital tools. We’ve gotten used to “tele-everything,” the report states, and much of that is likely to stick around in the form of digital meetings, telemedicine, expanded e-commerce, remote schooling options and more.
Revisit all marketing and advertising efforts. During the pandemic, many of our marketing efforts had to change. After the pandemic, we’ll need to shift once again. Much of what our businesses have been doing to reach customers may no longer be effective, and there may be new and improved options.
If your business is in Whatcom County, consider reaching out to BPRC for a free consultation. BPRC’s founder and communications director, Patti Goethals Rowlson, would be happy to discuss your business and help you brainstorm marketing and advertising channels that can help serve your business.