Clear, concise, and regular communication is the key to connecting with your customers and generating business—now more than ever. Yelp Connect is an easy way to get your customers’ attention and share timely updates about your operations and what you’re offering right now as things change daily.
The biggest question customers have about local businesses like yours right now is: “Are they open?” Whether you’re a restaurant owner or a chiropractor, keep your message simple: Try a simple Connect post that lets people know you’re open, with basic details about when and how they can interact with you. Are you available for curbside pickup or contactless delivery? Give a brief rundown of which products and services are available now, and invite them to patronize your business, like J&M BBQ’s enticing post about the availability of online ordering and delivery.
Some industries have pivoted to open up new revenue streams with services they didn’t offer before. Salons like Eliut Salon in New York are mixing custom at-home color treatments that are available for contactless delivery or curbside pickup. If you’ve expanded beyond your normal offerings to adjust to COVID-19, be sure to highlight that to your community.
Health and safety protocols
Your customers’ health and safety concerns and expectations have radically changed over the last few weeks. Whether you’re an essential service that has continued operations or you’ve been closed and are preparing to reopen, consumers want to know about the new safety and sanitary measures you’re implementing. Proactively communicating those actions via Connect will help build trust with your staff and your clientele.
If you’re an in-home service provider, let your customers know what kind of protective gear your team will be wearing and what procedures you have in place for disinfecting the home before and after your services. New York’s Piece of Cake Moving & Storage has helped thousands of residents move safely during New York’s shelter-in-place mandate, sharing information about contactless moving, discounts, masked movers, and increased sanitization of moving equipment.
This may be a big change in mindset for you—most businesses historically haven’t needed to publicly share this type of information. But many consumers today are looking for it: They want to support local businesses and are looking for those that have taken the necessary steps to protect the health and safety of their customers, staff, and the community.
If your business is offering virtual services of any kind, use Connect to help spread the word. Consumers are open to trying new things online right now—from zoo tours to virtual home buying. Real estate agents Cherrie Brown and Zach McReynolds use Connect to promote virtual buyer consultations, mobile notary services, video tours, and more.
Even businesses that don’t have an obvious way to pivot to virtual services have been getting creative. Some jewelers, for example, are offering virtual ring consultations so that customers can move forward with celebrating special occasions, even while at home—like TDC Jewelry‘s online engagement ring service.
Wellness providers have also been going virtual. Telehealth is a new way to easily access the expertise of a physician, and for some medical professionals—such as therapists—telehealth has opened up new options that some patients may continue to prefer after shelter-in-place orders are lifted. Kailua Dermatology & Wellness Center shares the various platforms they are using for video appointments.
Fitness businesses have a similar story. The accessibility of virtual fitness classes has left many people thinking they won’t return to their traditional gyms again even after COVID-19 restrictions are lifted. Providing live, engaging virtual content may be the way of the future for many businesses. Now is the perfect time to experiment and learn how to participate in the movement.
Tips, education, or instruction
Sharing your expertise during these difficult times can be exactly what your customers need to feel supported right now. If some or all of the services you typically provide are on hold, what tips or virtual support can you provide to stay top of mind and help your customers? Big Cat Irrigation and Landscaping provides detailed tips on how to calculate run times for your irrigation system—a highly relevant topic with so many people at home trying out their green thumb.
Everything from information about mortgages to legal updates could be relevant to your current and future clients right now. Posting on Connect to share the ways you’re offering your expert advice is a great way to jumpstart conversations and organically develop a lead list of potential future clients. Moshtael Family Law delivers helpful co-parenting strategies to consider during tough times.
Deals, discounts, offers, and rebates
Gift cards are a fast and direct way to source funds for your business, and many consumers are looking for easy ways to support their local favorites right now. If you’re offering discounts on gift cards, you’ll want to let your loyal customers know that they can support you with a purchase.
If you’re offering special deals on services or products—whether it’s a new COVID-19 offering or a discounted rate—outline all the details for your potential customers in a Connect post. Include information about the product/service itself and the special pricing in your Connect post to build connection and excitement even from a distance. Promoting a $500 discount, Pacific Outdoor Living also shares that most small projects are completed within a week, delivering a deal and an enticing turn-around time.
If you have a deal specifically for frontline or essential workers, showcase that prominently. Not only will it attract those community members who you’re hoping to serve, but it will highlight your business’s support for the community.
Fundraising and collaboration
Setting up a fundraiser to collect donations for your employees or to pay your operating expenses can be a convenient way for your community to support you directly, even if they’re not able to get your goods or service right now. There’s a lot of evidence that people want to support their communities, and as a local businesses, you are part of that lifeblood they want to keep alive right now. Use Connect to alert your customers about any fundraisers to support your business or your staff.
Collaborations with local organizations or other businesses are another great way to spread awareness about what you’re currently offering. If there’s another local business that you typically partner with or refer customers to, consider teaming up to see how you can support one another by providing bundled services or promoting each other’s offerings. Collaboration is worth celebrating and communicating to your network via a Connect post.
The Coronavirus has caused so many small businesses to pivot in unexpected ways in order to survive the shelter-in-place orders and regulations. The health crisis has also created opportunities for new services and offerings, like disinfecting businesses and offices. Cleaning companies have adapted to provide COVID-19 sanitation services, and if this is something your business is offering, it’s important to spread the word, and a Connect post is a great way to do that.
Businesses have also shifted to offer support and education on financial matters like PPP loans and other resources available through the CARES Act. If your business has expanded into a new COVID-19-relevant service, make sure you incorporate that information into your customer outreach. Marketing agency Radical Bohemian Digital partnered with a financial service provider to help business owners process their loan applications.