It’s safe to say that Covid-19 has been an economic and medical disaster since the outbreak began back in December 2019. What was once considered normal has been completely flipped on its head, and businesses must now adapt to the rapidly changing conditions if they want to survive amidst the global chaos.
The virus has turned digitization from an “optional luxury” to an absolute “must-have,” forcing companies to modernize quicker than ever before, altering their business practices to meet the new challenges that the pandemic brings.
And, although we are still some way off from knowing what the full effect of the pandemic will be, it’s fair to assume that things aren’t likely to return to the way they were, even if a vaccine is successfully rolled out in 2021.
Who is Jesse Willms
Jesse Willms is an entrepreneur and business owner who has found fantastic success over the last 15 years, levying his incredible aptitude for marketing to sell over $500m worth of products through his health and wellness supplement company, Terra Marketing group.
Willms specializes in high converting pay per click advertising and is renowned for emulating his success across countless industries. Over the last decade and a half, Willms has had to battle with rapidly changing compliance laws that forced him to adjust his business practices, and in some way, the challenges he overcame are not too different from what many companies across the world are facing right now.
Brick and mortar stores enter the digital marketing sphere
Twilio recently surveyed 2,569 enterprise decision-makers who revealed the profound impact that covid-19 has had on their business, with 97% of them stating that the pandemic has sped up their digital transformation.
If you own a business, it’s time to move away from brick-and-mortar marketing techniques to click-and-mortar, or else you risk getting left behind. A recent McKinsey study revealed that more people are making online purchases than ever before, and this trend looks set to continue even in a post-pandemic world.
“As we have seen over the last several months, businesses that adopted an agile marketing framework before the pandemic have been much more capable of re-shaping their marketing strategy and delivery in light of COVID-19, while businesses that were locked into a conventional command-and-control marketing framework are struggling to make the adjustment,” says Willms.
The way customers interact with your brand is changing
95% of executives revealed they are looking for new ways to engage with their customers in the wake of the pandemic, and you should follow suit. The majority of brand interaction is now taking place online, and you must be ready to openly engage with your customers.
In these times, it’s essential to focus on care and concern, innovate digital models to help customers, and be ready to migrate existing customers to digital channels in order to save your company money and boost customer satisfaction in the process.
“Businesses that authentically demonstrate empathy and caring at this time are making an investment that will pay dividends for many years to come, while businesses that are only in it for themselves will find out soon enough that scorned customers have very long memories, and they also do not hesitate to share their unhappy stories online and offline with anyone who will listen,” explains Willms.
Your online reputation is more valuable than ever before
Trustpilot’s survey found that 33% of customers are now checking reviews of online products and services more than they did before the pandemic.
If you’ve already built a trusted online reputation, then great; just make sure you take steps to maintain your customer relationships and adapt your strategies as times change.
However, if you’ve still not fully digitized your business, or if your online reputation isn’t at the level where you’d like it to be, you need to take steps to improve it. Here are a few tips on how you can do that:
- Implement SEO to take your established credibility by creating engaging content that’s relevant and educational for its intended audience.
- Open digital communication channels, such as social media, email, a website, and live chat functionalities. The more ways a customer can contact you, the better.
- 79% of consumers say they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from friends or family. With this in mind, you should ask your customers for public reviews on websites like Trustpilot and actively engage with them.
- Don’t ignore online criticism. Instead, you should reply to customer reviews and take positive action. Show your customers that you are present in the digital space. They need to know that you are listening and taking comments on board.
Remember, customers have digital relationships with online brands, and that’s becoming more and more apparent thanks to the pandemic. Unlike bad publicity in a newspaper, damage to your online reputation is far more challenging to repair as it tends to linger for much longer.
“Listening to customers also means leaning forward and engaging in dialogue to learn about factors like motivations, aspirations, expectations, and perceptions,” says Willms.
“The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated the growth of SEO, as more consumers in both the B2C and B2C spaces are using search engines to search for companies and vendors. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced brands to re-invent how they stay relevant to customers in an increasingly unstable world,” explains Willms.
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