People from around the globe are feeling the pinch of being quarantined for days on end, due to the deadly Coronavirus. What started as a “stay indoors” suggestion has now become an absolute quarantine for many people. Most people made temporary arrangements. They bought enough food and other necessities to last about two weeks. Those who could work remotely from home. People listed as essential employees used the greatest precautions and took the streets to save lives. These were doctors, nurses, law enforcement, and many more.
Before long, people began to realize that the COVID-19 was unlike anything our generation had experienced before. When toilet tissue, bottled water, hand-sanitizer, and antibacterial gel flew off the shelves. Citizens started paying attention. We did what we do. We went to the internet and tried to buy the things we needed. That was a very brief window of opportunity.
Businesses did what they knew to do. They called their suppliers and took advantage of online business opportunities for retailers. Since retailers are used to materials being picked up at their shop, the quarantine caused yet another problem.
If the entire order is going from one supplier to one vendor, you simply follow the rules and have a 6-foot area between the people delivering and the people accepting the merchandise. Orders, packing slips and other paperwork is done via the computer.
How can a brick and mortar business sell their goods if no one comes in?
We are not people who expect to wait. When the government shuts our doors, they leave us to ourselves to figure out what we need to do. Here are some clues:
- Get on your website!
- List the hot items that are in high demand that you have in stock.
- Use the social media networks and share, share, share. Get your information on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Let your customers know how you can help them
- If your customers need something, do your best to find it.
Use your email
Now is the time to keep communication open between you and your customers. Run specials on things you want to sell. If the customer insists on picking up, chalk a staging area. Have an employee in full gear place the order on the square.
- Meals, drinks, and presentations will be canceled until the quarantine is over.
- Essential meetings with clients, vendors, and travel agents will be canceled until further notice.
Encourage your clients to use their computer
Most businesses have websites that communicate, receive and process orders. They check the availability of equipment. They have customer service agents that are there to serve you. But, a lot of customers would rather pick up the phone and call an agent rather than type a short message. During a time like this, technology is of great value. Encourage your customers to use the system. An easy way to do this is by commenting, let’s look in the system because whoever gets to it first gets the product.
When you have done all you can do
If Coronavirus continues and we have all we can do, it is time to be honest and ready. Post signs that read, “We are temporarily closed, for deep cleaning.” Take this time to really do a deep cleaning for safety’s sake. Stay active online. Do not allow a customer to think you don’t care. Stay in touch via your website and email. Do not give the impression that you are just resting until something else happens.
Now is the time to let your customers, employees, vendors, and end-users know that you are their side. When little things show up that can help someone, go the extra mile. We all approach this with a positive outlook. It may be frustrating, but it is necessary if we are going to get through this as quickly as possible.
This too will pass
There have been deadly pandemics before. There have been illnesses that have changed our world. In each of those horrific situations, people died painful deaths. While these horrors were all around, people reached for any ray of hope. In 2020, we have hope. We have world-class scientists working around the clock to solve this. We have the greatest minds in the study of health working around the clock. We have the technology and have the ability to cure COVID-19 if given a bit more time.
With all of this power, we know Coronavirus will be conquered soon. We know the virus is forcing governments around the world to scramble. Every man, woman, and child is affected by this pandemic. Businesses from retail to freelancers are trying to find enough “normal” to carry on. We will survive this pandemic as we have survived those that came before it. Until then, we will use the tools at hand to do our part to bring COVIC-19 to its knees.