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COVID-19 and Your Website

by | March 18, 2020

Profile photo of blog author Marik Knapp, content writer for Capitol Tech Solutions

5 Communication Tips for Small Business Amidst COVID-19

In light of the recent COVID-19 developments, many businesses are facing reduction of staff, shortened work hours or even temporary closures. During this time of uncertainty, it is critical to be transparent in how your business operations may be affected by county, state or national efforts to reduce in-person contact. This is especially important when it comes to maintaining client satisfaction. Client satisfaction is reached by meeting and exceeding expectations even during odd or unprecedented circumstances. Businesses need to be proactive and responsive to create proper expectations especially during times of uncertainty. Utilizing these five communication tips will help your business set expectations and maintain high levels of customer or client satisfaction.

Updating Your Website Contact Page

When updating your contact information there is really no more central of a place than your website contact page. If your hours of operation have been affected, prepare a simple explanation that will allow customers or clients to understand the reason for the changes, the duration of the changes and any new supported contact methods.

Example

Given the uncertainly around COVID-19, we have made the difficult decision to limit our practice to emergencies only for the next two weeks from 3/16—3/29 to ensure the safety of our patients and your family members. This follows the recommendation issued by the CDC and guidance offered by state and local officials. We will continue to be available by phone and email to answer questions and schedule future appointments. Thank You.

The three sentences above concisely inform any new and current clients what to expect from this business in the coming weeks. The content clearly states what measures are being taken, why they are being taken and how clients can contact the business for future appointments or questions.

Contact our digital marketing team to help you communicate your COVID-19 statement to your clients or customers.

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Monitor & Update Your Google My Business & Apple Maps Listings

When customers or clients are looking for your contact information, they will rely on the information on your Google My Business which appears in Google maps along with the information in Apple maps. It’s important to update the information provided by both Google and Apple to ensure clients or customers can easily contact your business. While you may not think to update this information for short windows of time like holidays or periods of social distancing like we are experiencing with COVID-19, it is worth reflecting your accurate business hours as much as possible. Most business directories, like Google My Business, make updating your hours a quick process allowing you to temporarily set specialty hours for periods of time, which can be set in advance.

Don’t forget to make similar adjustments with any other directories that your client base utilizes to contact you. Here at Capitol Tech Solutions, we utilize YEXT, a tool that sends business contact information out to multiple directories all at one time.

Create Informative Pop-ups

Although the sentiment around website pop-ups are not always positive, they are still a quick and effective way of to get your brief message across. Here are some best practices with pop-ups that will help keep the user experience positive.

  1. Keep the pop-up message short and sweet. If you have more content to share, implement a learn more button within the pop-up linking users to more information.
  2. Set a reasonable delay time for the pop-up. Something around 3 to 5 seconds is a good place to start.
  3. Enable cookies and set a time span for the pop-up. If you enable cookies, you can create a time span that will disable the pop-up for returning visitors. This allows people to come back to your website and not get hit with the same pop-up over and over again.

Set Up an Email Announcement

Email is a proven way to get your critical information to clients and customers. If your company already utilizes an email marketing platform this process is even easier for you. If you do not already use an email marketing tool, here are a few recommended newsletter platforms: (Mailchimp, Constant Contact, Drip). When setting up your announcement, be sure to review your branding and style guide to select fonts and colors that fit your branding. When creating content for newsletters, utilize blocks of content between 50 and 125 characters. Don’t forget to include your contact information or link to your website’s contact page.

Create Social Media Posts

Social media posts are a fast and low barrier approach to sharing all types of company announcements. While the primary value of most announcements is in the written content, you should never overlook your visual image choice when creating a social media post. Your chosen image should convey the tone and foreshadow the written content that follows. In the caption, summarize the announcement; most announcements made through social media cannot be covered entirely within the post caption. If you are posting on Facebook or LinkedIn, you can link to additional information within the post itself. The rules for Instagram are a little different. You can link to content with a link in your bio, but not the post itself. For accounts with ten thousand followers or more, you can post an announcement in your story and utilize the swipe-up feature to link to a specific page.

Bonus Tip: Post a Flyer on the Entrance of Your Business

When you have exhausted all your digital avenues to inform your clients or customers of any changes to your business operations or hours there is one thing left to do: Print and post a flyer. Inevitably someone will miss your digital messages but a flyer on the business door is almost sure to catch any customers or clients coming to your business. Be sure that your message covers why the business has chosen to momentarily change operations or hours. Provide a timeline for how long the new policies will be in place. Lastly, provide an easy avenue for all current and future clients to contact your business.

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