Are your digital instruments ready for a crisis? Checklist
When running a business, there should be numerous factors taken to consideration when it comes to calculating the occurrence of crisis situations to happen. But let’s face it, we could not have expected 2020 to surprise us with a global pandemic no matter how much we could have calculated those risks. Yet this is the reality the world has now to live in and cope with. And in circumstances of social distancing businesses now have faced the inevitability of digitalization. Here businesses have to realize that going digital is the solid set of particular topics that need to cover in order to succeed. Let’s look at the main instruments of digitalization, so you can check if you are all set.
Every online presence strategy starts with a website, as it is basically your main carte-de-visite. Here you have to ask yourself if your website serves as the main representation of your work, the products and services you provide. All the information that may be needed for your customers to get to know more about the company needs to be displayed on your website. And the most important question here is if your website is giving your customers the easiest option to complete the purchase of the product you are providing. A website is critical in circumstances of the current crisis as it is the fastest and most convenient way to showcase your work, product/service, your values and expertise. Is your website always available online for any potential or existing customers to reach out to your business? If before you were doubting or not prioritising creating a website, now not having one is basically stealing from yourself in the crisis situation.
Site content consistency
We are not even mentioning here the importance of having a website, as it does not take much brain to finally figure that out. Your site is the main representation of your business for several audiences: potential customers, clients, partners and employees. Is the information you are providing on the website addressing as many issues that would interest each of the site visitors as possible? If not, why not? The main reason here would be that it builds trust. Right, and consistent content on the website will definitely advance the credibility of your company overall. The next question to ask yourself here would be: is your content of a high-quality and is it always up-to-date? The other indicator that your content is consistent is that it is all connected throughout not only your website but also all your social media channels, meaning that it cannot contradict each other.
Basically, website usability is a vast input for your customer service. With businesses striving for satisfying their customers by meeting their sometimes highest expectations, the goal here is to do it as fast and professionally as possible. Otherwise, visitors will just switch to your closest competitors. To make sure that your visitors are getting the best and the most productive time on your website you need to do usability testing. Here you surely need to use the help of a User Experience designer. The designer will help you determine any usability stuck points and with the help of data analytics will help you identify user satisfaction actions. It will give you an overall insight on what people do on your website and where they leave, so you can adjust your website based on users needs. This will help you make people actually stay on the website and get to know your company and its products better.
Search engine optimization
When you google something that you need, the results that appeared on the top of the search are results of SEO people’s hard work. Search engine optimization engineers work with websites and blogs to make them relevant for the specific search criteria that would correlate with your business. In the circumstances of global digitalization the main amount of website visitors are coming from search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Yandex etc. You as a business need to make sure that your website is visible, specifically that it appears in the search, so the people who are not aware of your business through personal connection (which is absent in the circumstances of social distancing) would still consider choosing your website among others. It can be achieved by using the right keywords in your consistent site content. So while we are talking about SEO, we actually meet collaborative work of quality content marketing, right analytics and application of search engine optimization tools.
Staff digital proficiency
Especially in the current situation of social distancing when teams have no other choice besides going remote digital staff proficiency is playing an extremely crucial role. With workers not being able to enlist the latest needed software or technologies, the productivity of the whole business is going to appear in risk. The main task here besides choosing the right technical solution that would help to improve your operations is to make sure that your staff is getting enough practical education to be able to keep up with the progress.
A newsletter is part of the customers’ retention, in other words, newsletters help customers stay updated and reminded of the company. Newsletters basically help improve client loyalty. Customer retention process in a form of newsletter offers something to the customer that would make them interact with the same company again and again, for example, new promotion offers, or the latest interaction opportunity. Do your newsletters besides offering something provide the latest updates of your company? Those updates are also of great importance for the customers or potential clients. Newsletters are shared periodically which creates a long term communication with the audience and in a long run strengthen the customer relationships. While newsletters bring the most value for existing clients, it is also a great source of getting closer with the potential users, who are getting to know more about your company and its products.
Social Media Presence
Social media is another added value source of information for your potential users besides your website. Sometimes you are unable to explain in specific details everything your company about, how different it is from your competitors and how exactly you are performing your services. Besides providing the most detailed information on your social media, is it also an actual source of leads that would potentially become your future customers? Well, it should be. On social media platforms, you can as well communicate with everybody interested straight away, which turns Facebook, Instagram, Youtube and other platforms into the fastest way to reach you as a company. Is it helping you to be an active, “live’, and easily accessible brand? It sure is. In other words, social media presence for the company is the live example of the readiness of the brand to communicate with the customers.
Targeted ads on Google, youtube and outside websites
The main goal of any digital ad is to bring leads to the mediums which could either be a website or social media, where the final destination is for those leads to actually contact your business and become a customer. In this case, any outside ads either is it google, youtube or any other ad from the outside website has to be targeted at your potential user audience. During the current crisis and the urgent need of digitization ads must be included in your media plan as the first thing. Statistically we can already notice that people users are spending much more time online, and basically for them to get to know about your business it takes any reminder of that. In order to define the right target group to choose the right message, visual, text or overall campaign can be achieved with the help of professional targeting specialists. But the main goal here is for all your content marketing to be consistent, so all those leads that you will ‘purchase’ with the help of paid ads would actually convert to customers.
An option on your website to receive customer feedback shows that you appreciate their opinions and even the fact of requesting their opinions is already something that would leave your competitors behind. Client feedback is a vital component in the circumstances of the current crisis as this is basically the main channel of communication between your products and services and actual customers. Client loyalty built is extremely important now, as if the company is actually sinking down only the loyal customers are able to save it from complete disaster. Those are people who would still buy your product and support your values through the storm, and those are the customers you need to pay the most attention for. Feedback from the loyal customers who actually took a moment from their own busy lifes to make an impact for your product shows they actually care about it. And it costs more than any money, as it is one of the most important sources to receive ideas on how to improve. This is another form of communication with specific interest groups, which is vital in current circumstances. But the rules also stay the same, from the feedback form you can get data as well on sales, performance and define what could be your future goals in the future after you consider changes towards improvement.
Crisis communication tools
Now we do not have to imagine the situation where we would plan the crisis strategy. But no matter what is the event that leads to the crisis the right communication is the most vital at the moment. Make sure you allocate all your communication channels here: information on the top of your websites, all social media channels, FAQ sections. With spreading the needed messages simultaneously provides contacts for more detailed information on specific cases. For that reason if needed you can organize separate communication or support resources. Reacting on time helps not to lose the already existing clients, and come up with solutions on how to deal with operations that are struggling. While figuring out how your business is going to operate in the new circumstances the next step to implement would be to communicate it all to the audience. And also make sure you cover all information recipient groups from customers to employees to partners without a delay.
Transforming business model
While talking about effective digitalization for your business it is important to consider not only moving the operations but also defining new business opportunities and products that could be fully digital. With the right strategy your company should not only survive the crisis but be able to easily transform should the other crisis appear on the horizon. To find out what would be the best strategy for your business you need to evaluate the market demand and find out where can you as a business step in to improve the situation towards better results for the economy.
As we can already witness no matter how much we are preparing our business for an unexpected event, there is always room for something we have no idea could have to happen, as the current crisis for example. The obvious solution for this exact crisis for business to digital the soonest time possible. But the trick here lies in the fact that to achieve the full digitalization it takes a system of actions, where if one of them is being missed, the whole machine won’t bring you value. We hope that the steps we mentioned in this article would benefit your business strategy and your business shall not only survive but find new maybe even unexpected before the turn.