What can we do to get ourselves and our business back on track?
Having been in Covid-19 confinement and business lock-down since March there is now a glimmer of light at the end of the tunnel. In the next few weeks several European countries are relaxing their restrictions and allowing businesses to reopen. In France this will only go ahead if the number of confirmed coronavirus deaths does not rise, and as long as the businesses that are allowed to open apply strict health and hygiene guidelines.
But although we all say we’ll be glad to get back to normal, I think we know it’s not going to be the ‘old normal’. It’s going to be a ‘new normal’.
And that leads me straight into an article I read yesterday that I want to share with you. The author shares the same views as me and the article itself provides some good, solid advice. So why re-invent the wheel?
One thing that I think this pandemic has taught all of us in business is that we need to be flexible and ready for change, so it might be worth recording everything you’ve learned, and continue to learn during this crisis, so you can have a contingency plan in place to help you through the next few months.
The above quote is from the latest post from a blogger that I follow and admire, Cindy Mobey. She’s a freelance writer and marketing consultant, and I must admit to being just a little bit jealous of how easy she makes blogging look. Her style of writing is natural, intelligent and easy to read. It’s also informative and thought-provoking.
Are you ready for the ‘new normal’?
Cindy has kindly given me permission to share the article on my website, and here it is. Please read the full article – Time for a new normal? and let me know what you think.
Take care of your business, your customers and YOU
People are referring to the covid-19 pandemic as a war and that we are fighting an invisible enemy. Maybe there are some similarities, but however we view this period of confinement there is no doubt that it is changing lives now and in the future. And because people are forced to spend more time at home it is also changing our relationship with the outside world and our online search behaviour.
According to data recently published by Google, search and consumer behaviour is changing on a daily basis. So what can we do in these difficult times to take care of our business, our customers and, most importantly, ourselves?
Can we use this new search behaviour to create content that will help others find the information they need? Yes we can, because we are also consumers and we are changing too.
Because consumer search behaviour is changing, the way businesses write and present their content needs to evolve with it. To do this we need to understand the 5 relevant shifts in consumer search behaviour identified by Google.
1. Assembling critical information
We’re all searching for new critical content to help us get by and adapt to changes in lifestyle. Home-schooling, home deliveries and home-working are just a few of the key areas where searches are now focused. So businesses and organisations need to provide clear, credible information about their services and where, how and when people can get the things they need.
Fact not Fake
Reinforce that you are here to help. Keep in regular communication across your website, blogs, social media and Google My Business page. Most importantly, make sure that what you communicate is factual – there is so much fake news being distributed and most of it causes more concern and heightens emotions and anxiety. Your customers need to be able to trust what you are telling them.
Try to be flexible by helping customers with cancellations and refunds. Providing a good customer service is something they will remember you for. Poor customer service is what they will tell their friends about.
2. Making New Connections
With social distancing people are nurturing their existing relationships, whether it’s with family, friends or businesses. But they’re also making new virtual connections and search interest is spiking on YouTube for topics such as ‘Cook with Me’, ‘Study with me’ and ‘Disinfect with me’. But also for multiplayer games and virtual happy hour!
Are there any ways your business can virtually connect with consumers locally and globally? What experiences or services can you create and share with them?
3. Changes In Routines
Our online habits are changing as we adjust to new routines and schedules brought about by self-isolation. As well as spikes in search interest for D.I.Y and dumb-bells, there is also more interest in watching other people adapt to new routines, with some late-night show hosts broadcasting from their own homes.
Google’s recommendations for helping consumers adjust to their new confinement routines is to let people know that your business is available whenever and wherever. Update and publish content that is interesting, entertaining, informative and promotes wellness. And publish it often.
4. Praising Everyday Heroes
I’m sure we have all seen or heard of Captain Tom Moore, the 99 year old World War 2 veteran raising money for the NHS. At the time of writing, over 600,00 people had contributed to his Just Giving fund. What an amazing gentleman. A true inspiration for us all. Before the end of this isolation I’m pretty certain there will be more everyday heroes that we will want to support.
Look for people who are helping and find ways to support or celebrate them. Are there any everyday heroes in your business – employees or customers – or in your local community? Support and share their achievements.
5. Taking Care of Themselves and Others
I think we are all looking for ways to take care of the physical and emotional needs of ourselves and others. We are looking for activities that will help to ease the boredom, anxiety and restlessness. They can be virtual or real-life activities. And because of this growing need for stimulation, there has been a surge in virtual tours of galleries, museums, chateaux and even online music festivals!
If your business has an interest in any of these areas, that’s fantastic. Get involved and facilitate some virtual collaboration. If you’re not, there’s nothing to stop you sharing some of your favourite virtual tours or creating some of your own. Focus on ways to enrich peoples lives. Join conversations about home-based health and well-being, share links to home-based yoga sessions.
Don’t just take care of your business
Some businesses will survive, others will adapt, re-invent themselves and come up with bigger and better business ideas. But if you are going to take care of your business, then your number one priority has to be taking care of yourself.
These are bleak times but we will all get through this, one way or another. Just remember to stay connected. Keep in touch with your family, friends, the local community and other businesses. Please, stay safe and stay in touch.
If you can dream it you can do it – Walt Disney
Click here to read the full Google Search Trends and coronavirus article