Doing business now compared to say, 7 months ago before the pandemic began, is an entirely different game, which naturally, requires a new strategy.
And if you’re a plumber, landscaper, contractor, or any other professional in the home-service industry, this is especially true. People are wary about letting friends or family enter their homes, let alone complete strangers. So, what do you do?
Selling your services during COVID-19 is no walk in the park, however, there are steps to take that’ll help you succeed.
Successfully Selling Your Services During the Pandemic
COVID-19 has changed just about everything.
But just as your business has changed, so have your customers. Succeeding in these crazy times requires your business to adapt, be flexible, and really understand your customers' evolving needs.
Build Your Trust and Credibility with Customers
You have to reassure customers that you are healthy, safe, and taking all the necessary precautions to avoid exposing them to the virus. And once you do this, you’ll have to reassure them again. It’s just the world we live in now.
You have to adapt to new customer behaviors and implement safety protocols to meet guidelines and keep everyone safe.
That means ramping up cleaning efforts, wearing personal protective equipment (masks, gloves, etc.), reviewing safety guidelines, and implementing a COVID-19 pre-screening questionnaire.
Shift Your Storefront Online
Building an online presence has been fundamental for businesses for decades, but in our current situation, it has become a vital piece in keeping your business afloat. Will you sink or will you swim?
Ask yourself these questions: Do you have a website? Do you manage listings in local business directories like Yelp and Google My Business? Do you have reviews? These are the questions you need to be asking yourself. If you answered no to any of the above questions, it’s time to get to work.
Your first order of business is to build a website. With all the modern drag-and-drop website builders, creating a website has become easy— no technical experience necessary.
All you have to do is choose a platform to use, pick a theme, add images and copy, add your products and services, and lastly set up a payment processor that is PCI (Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard) compliant.
If you already have a website, you'll want to modernize your site. You can do this by adding new and relevant content, easy navigation buttons, double-check that all the information is accurate, and ensuring your website is mobile-friendly.
And as a final step, you’ll want to add COVID-19 information (as it pertains to your business):
- General COVID-19 information
- Temporary closures
- Modified hours
- Available services
- Safety and health protocols
Right now people are sitting at home scouring the internet. If your business shows up where they’re searching, it’s a big win for you.
Develop Your Online Presence
There are a few ways to grow your digital footprint. For starters, it’s time to update your Google My Business listing. We're talking about adding new and high-quality photos, hours of operation, services, contact information, and then double-checking that all your information is correct.
Making these little changes will do wonders for your business. And don’t stop there, update your information on all major business directories including Yelp, Facebook, Angie’s List, and so on.
The next step in building your online presence is improving your customer reviews and ratings. I know it’s a dreaded topic many businesses prefer to avoid altogether, but that’s no longer an option.
You can build your reviews by sending review requests via email, text message, or through a business messenger, send feedback surveys, and respond to existing and new reviews (prospects read your responses). The more reviews you have, the better off you’ll be.
And lastly, take advantage of social media (it’s free marketing). Every business should be active on social media (or launch your profiles if you're new to the game). Once your profiles are up and running you should aim to:
- Post 5-10 times per week
- Post on all social media channels where your customers are (not just one)
- Provide valuable and relevant information that your followers find useful
- Engage with your followers by responding to direct messages, questions, and comments
Modernize Payment Options
Contactless transactions saw more than 40 percent growth worldwide in the first quarter of 2020 — and that's not a coincidence. Since the pandemic began, the use of contactless payments have skyrocketed.
About 80 percent of respondents worldwide said they now use contactless payments, with safety and cleanliness as top motivators for choosing contactless over alternative payment methods.
This means you want to digitize your revenue. Reduce any risk of transmission through cash or even a credit card that requires you to swipe. Instead, offer a risk-free way for customers to pay for your services.
This doesn’t have to be complicated. You can use methods such as text-to-pay, online payments (in advance or in real time), or any other payment method that can be made touch-free.
Be Patient and Take it One Day at a Time
We will get through this, eventually. It's important to remember to be patient with yourself and others as we navigate this new normal.
Keep in mind that even though things may be very slow right now, this is only temporary. There is light at the end of this (very long and dark) tunnel. It may take some time and it won’t happen overnight, but we will get there.
Looking for more advice on how to conduct business during the pandemic? Check out our free guide on how to digitally transform your business in a few simple steps.