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Recovering your business during COVID-19

With the nation preparing to restart business, to varying degrees, many business owners are contemplating how to reopen safely and successfully during a pandemic. 

But in the midst of scattered advice, furloughed staff, and unpredictable climates; where do you start? In this step-by-step guide, we’ll aim to equip you with the information you need to ensure your employees and customers are safe, and your business can bounce back as quickly as possible.

The virtual workplace 

With thousands of us switching to a remote work environment overnight, homeworking has become an affordable and efficient solution for many digitally-powered businesses; with brands such as Twitter committing to work this way permanently.

But, of course, such a sudden transition has come with its challenges; be it the financial implications, technical glitches, or resource shortages.

For companies where a return to the workplace isn’t yet possible, or for those wanting to support a hybrid office model going forward, it will be crucial to embrace more flexible ways of working in order to remain agile in such a changeable climate.

Improving communication between employees 

Implementing a chat-based tool like Microsoft Teams or Slack can help to keep workplace conversation flowing during the working day, while a video conferencing facility, like Zoom, will allow teammates to catch up and meet via video call – a great way to boost interaction and team spirit.

These types of tools will help strengthen collaboration and will also prove a worthwhile investment to those returning to the traditional workplace but unable to carry out meetings due to social distancing factors.

Communicating with customers 

Human interaction and reassurance have never been so vital. Keeping lines of communication, such as telephone, email, or live chat, consistently open and available, will be fundamental in recovering business opportunities and bouncing back.

Ensure you have the resource in place to capture phone calls so you can communicate clearly with customers and respond to urgent queries when it matters most.

If you’re continuing to work remotely or with minimal resource, consider alternative channels on which customers can reach you that will help your team more easily manage the likely influx of incoming inquiries when you first reopen, such as a live chat facility on your website; an effective way to tackle demand and triage queries, allowing you to respond to customers within seconds.

Return to work 

For those in sectors where a return to the workplace is imminent, your premises will need some important adjustments to ensure the safety of employees and customers before you can reopen.

Employee wellbeing; first and foremost, talk to your team members and ensure they feel comfortable with returning to work and understand the changes and safety precautions they will need to adhere to.

Check in with employees on a daily basis, particularly within the first few weeks of returning. This will give staff the opportunity to address any issues or concerns. Be prepared to take on board criticism and implement any necessary improvements as soon as possible.

PPE; ensure you have all of the required protective equipment fully stocked and readily available to keep both your staff and customers safe at all times.

This will include:

  • Hand sanitizer; sanitizer should be accessible throughout the day at entrance and exit points, toilets, and desks/counters – it’s also a good idea to provide individuals with their own personal supply of hand sanitizer.
  • Disinfectant; any communal counters or touchpoints will need to be disinfected at regular intervals throughout the day. Tills, computer keyboards, card machines, surfaces, and any communal equipment should be wiped down before each new person has contact with them.
  • Gloves & masks; encourage the use of gloves and face masks wherever appropriate, with employees as well as customers.

Having a good supply of PPE will help alleviate any anxiety and ensure everyone on your premises feels safe.

Social distancing; where possible, try to implement a one-way system around your business. Use floor markings such as arrows, tape, and clear signage to direct employees and customers around your building at a safe distance of 2 meters apart.

You will also need to reconsider seating arrangements to increase the distance between staff members at desks or counters, as well as between customers in waiting areas. If you can, using perspex screens at till points, reception desks and counters will help to enhance safety.

Depending on the layout of your premises, it’s also a good idea to separate entrance and exit points, to ensure a safe distance is maintained between those entering your building and those leaving.

Commuting safely; with many people choosing to avoid public transport right now, do you have enough space to accommodate those extra commuters coming in by car? If not, is there any way you could help to encourage this safer way of travel? Consider covering or offering a contribution towards expenses for car parking.

Bouncing back 

Following significant implications to finances and resources, recovering business will be the next big challenge facing business owners. There are several steps you can take to ensure your business bounces back as quickly as possible.

Delivering exceptional customer support 

There are numerous ways you can cost-effectively maintain outstanding levels of customer support, even without the in-house resource. This will be fundamental in your recovery.

A virtual receptionist, for example, will manage calls exactly as if based in your office. While Live Chat will allow your employees to triage incoming inquiries from the comfort of their homes, responding to queries in real-time and engaging any browsers visiting your website.

In the absence of your in-house reception staff, your own Moneypenny Receptionist can look after calls with the same level of dedication as you and your own team. Available around the clock, your Moneypenny Receptionist is available to capture every call in your company name; on an overflow basis, or as a full-time solution to cover the working day, 24/7, enabling you to open your doors to even more opportunity!

Talk to our business continuity experts today about the various solutions we can offer you to support fast recovery.

Nail your sales message 

At such an uncertain and often confusing time, it’s important that your messaging is clear and transparent. This will not only make lives easier for your customers, but also for you and your team.

Make sure your sales messaging is up to date and reflects the current circumstances; this will demonstrate that you understand the situation and will assure customers feel they are in safe hands.

Alleviate any unnecessary increase in customer queries by offering an FAQs page on your website and carrying out simple measures such as updating all key platforms (website and social media pages) and sales collateral with your revised opening hours, as well as any notable changes to your service or products, such as COVID-related restrictions.

Sending out an email update is an effective way to communicate details of your reopening and outline the safety precautions you have put in place, before anyone visits, to ensure everybody’s safety during the pandemic.

Win back your customers 

Winning back customers will be a focal point for all businesses moving forward. As mentioned already, customer service will be integral to this. But, you can also look to introduce a comeback offer to reignite interest in your service or product.

This might be in the form of an exclusive discount on a particular product, especially one that is relevant to the current situation and can help ease any pain points. A free trial or sample is also a great way of asserting your commitment to helping customers and allowing them to directly experience what you do and how your service can benefit their lives – before making that commitment to purchase.

How Moneypenny can help 

We’re committed to supporting businesses of all shapes and sizes, ensuring they can remain open for business and continue to thrive at this time. We have a range of powerful solutions offering real people and easy-to-use software to suit your personal needs so that you can continue talking to your customers and delivering exceptional customer service when it matters most.

Call us today on 844 364 6617 to discuss your options.

We give you amazing people and technology:

Phone Answering

Your own Moneypenny Receptionist to answer calls exactly as if based in your office.

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Live Chat

Amazing people, briefed by you to manage chats whenever you can't.

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