For most businesses, battling a pandemic is unprecedented.
Should you give more discounts? Should you move everything online? Throw in free gifts? What should you be telling your customers?
There are so many questions. Wouldn’t it be nice to speak to someone who is doing a good job in handling this?
This week, we catch up with one of our clients – Fresh Meats – a notable store for fresh meat and seafood in Queensland.
We speak to Agnes, the Marketing Manager, to find if she could share her game plan in handling Covid-19 – and she was more than happy to share:
1. How you have been adapting to the changes in the retail landscape – since people have stopped going out due to the virus outbreak?
We have always intended to build an online store but circumstances made it happen much sooner and quicker than we thought was possible.
Our amazing web designers and photographer enabled us to create a beautiful online store in 5 days!
To ensure that both customers and staff feel safe in our store, we have ramped up cleaning procedures, installed multiple hands-free sanitiser dispensers and required staff to wear masks and gloves.
We even created a ‘butler’ who is disinfecting trolleys, baskets and surfaces all day and guides entering customers to sanitise their hands.
2. How have you been keeping engaging and nurturing customers during this time?
We communicate almost daily on Facebook and keep them updated weekly through our newsletter.
For our wholesale customers, we have a separate newsletter; as they are facing considerable challenges – in the early stages we offered to take back any unopened stock.
In store, we have posted signage in multiple areas about what we are doing.
Our own staff are customers as well, and for them we have also sent out regular emails detailing what is happening and helping them to feel secure.
3. How do you make sure customers don’t forget about you when the pandemic blows over?
Communication is so important, and so we intend to keep customers aware of what we have been doing and how we plan to keep evolving to service them better when the crisis has settled. This may be a while.
4. What were some changes you had to implement immediately as the virus broke out?
Immediate actions included the ordering of supplies that were hard to come by and on back order – sanitisers, masks, etc.
We had to strategise a comprehensive plan as an organisation even while ad hoc changes were taking place, and ensuring that both customers and staff were aware of what we were doing and how seriously we were taking this.
5. How does a customer loyalty program come in handy during these challenging times?
A loyalty program is handy at any time to encourage long term relationships with customers.
But doing good by them and being supportive during times of crises will certainly build an emotional sense of loyalty.
It’s also a way to show thanks to those who have supported us.
6. What are the plans to sail through the rough waters?
The plan is to continue to evolve as different needs arise and to communicate clearly with customers, staff, suppliers and everyone involved in the business.
People would rather know than be in the dark – and it makes everyone feel safer when there isn’t so much uncertainty.
7. Any advice for other businesses looking to stay ahead?
Focus on what service makes the customer’s life easier and communicate well!
Visit Fresh Meat’s store here. To learn more about how to communicate with customers during Covid-19, reach out to us and we’ll be happy to guide you.
*All photos are sourced from Fresh Meats