Ensuring your company stays relevant even during lockdown

Friday May 22 2020

Staying online. Social media can be a marketing

Staying online. Social media can be a marketing platform and opportunity for visibility during lock down if you use it well. FILE PHOTO 

By Phionah Nassanga

With the advent of the Covid-19 pandemic, it is not business as usual and we are all living in uncertainty. But that does not mean putting your head in the sand, but rather thinking of how you can remain relevant to your clients.
Sandra Nalumu, a consultant at CIC Insurance, says the pandemic has affected everyone at a personal and professional level. However, this does not mean business owners should just sit back and count losses. Instead, they should focus on creating a brand loyalty among their clients.
“For business owners, this is the time we need to prove our services to our clients and also remind them that we are still in existence. At the moment, every step you decide to take might not bring in money, but will pay off in the long run,” she explains.

Make use of social media platforms
Nalumu notes that because of Covid-19, people are now getting accustomed to social distancing and staying at home. Because of this, many have turned to different social media platforms to keep busy or pass time. However, she says for business owners, social media can act as a marketing platform and a way of getting immediate feedback from clients during the lockdown.
She says this will give your brand more attention, especially now that people are not overwhelmed by their daily duties. This is an opportunity for business owners to make good use of the different media platforms to know and understand their clients’ behaviour in terms of tastes and preferences.

“It might be costly, but try to embrace platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instragam, You Tube, and WhatsApp. Post and talk about your business as much as you can, it does not matter whether the audience responds or not,” she advises.
She says in case of any comments, be mindful of the way you respond because some will be positive and others negative. Your response to the negative comments might help solve a problem or cause harm to the brand.

Prioritise customers
As painful as it may be to watch sales drop off the cliff, it is good to remember that the situation is temporary. That is why thinking of your customers before profit margin will earn you respect, loyalty, and improve customer base.
Daniel Mugalu, an entrepreneur and lecture at St Lawrence University, says while many businesses are under lockdown and it is only a few that are operating, business owners have taken advantage of the situation to increase prices. Something he says will affect brands along the way thus creating a group of discontented clients who can easily be persuaded by your competitors.

To maintain and increase your clientele, a slight discount is needed to help you provide a personal touch with your clients thus making you the first port of call once business is back to normal.
“This might affect you, but you will have built trust between you and your clients and set a firm foundation for your business,” he shares.

Be available
To Flavia Nalugwa, a human resource manager of Research World Centre, this is the time business owners need to be readily available for their clients. You might not be physically available, but your clients should be able to feel your availability by the way you respond to either their text messages or emails.
She states that many business owners have not been paying attention to emails from clients or responding to them at their own will. Something that has pushed away clients into the hands of their competitors. Now that business is at a standstill, try to improve and reinforce your customer service.

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“Reply to phone calls, text messages and emails as fast as you can. Your clients should not feel any gap.”
Send a text message
Do not wait until your client sends a message so you can reply, be the first to send them messages.
Nalumu says a text message to clients whose contacts you have will remind them of how dear they are to your business. This implies it is not just about the money, but that you care and have a bond with each of your clients.

pnassanga@ug.nationmedia.com

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