Coronavirus: What Every Business Owner Needs to Know

  1. While the full extent of COVID-19's global impact is yet unknown, it's a good idea to take precautionary measures to protect yourself, your employees and your business. In light of this pandemic, it's important to stay updated on health guidelines from trusted organizations like the World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or Public Health Emergency. Ensure you're getting information from reliable sources to avoid spreading misinformation. While hospitals and governments work to keep people healthy and safe, many businesses like yours are continuing to provide customers with what they need during this period. General Tips Here’s a list of best practices you can consider to keep your business running smoothly—online and offline. 01. Keep Your Business Safe Update your employees with the latest news developments and health regulations. Provide this information in multiple languages to make sure everyone understands. Look out for common symptoms of the coronavirus like a dry cough, shortness of breath and/or fever. Create hygiene stations in the workplace and make sure your team is following protocol to keep everyone healthy. Encourage employees to work from home if they're not feeling well, or if they traveled recently. 02. Respond Quickly to Refunds Avoid chargebacks by handling refunds as quickly as possible. Keep in mind, the refund process differs according to your payment provider. If you have to refund customers, give them a good reason to return to your business. Offer a coupon or discount for their next purchase as compensation. Moreover, show them you value their business and their patience. 03. Be Transparent Communicate proactively. Encourage your customers to put their trust in you. If you have a Wix site, here are some ways you can reach out to your customers and employees:Live chat with customers using Wix Chat or on the Wix mobile app. Keep customers updated on your events, product inventory or services.Use email marketing to let customers know about changes to your business or special offerings.Create a forum and actively respond to questions and concerns from your community.Write a blog article detailing what your business is doing to keep your customers safe.Update your followers on social media with any relevant information. 04. Update Your Site Keep your customers in the loop. Update your website and social media pages with any changes to your work hours, shipping delays or event/service cancelations. Add an FAQ section to your site to address customer concerns. 05. Modify Your Payment Options Try to limit your transactions to contactless “tap” payments, or encourage customers to pay online using their phones. If using a POS system, disable on-screen signatures. You may even want to opt for online invoicing to digitize the payment process as much as possible. 06. Get Creative Be prepared to think on your feet and work around issues as they arise. Consider workarounds, innovative solutions and be flexible so you can ensure customers will return. There is no one-size-fits-all plan. Find solutions that're right for you and your business. EVENTS Postpone your event. Unfortunately, postponing your event may be the best way to ensure you keep everyone safe. Change the date on your event page to a later date or set it to TBD. Cancel the event. If you cancel an event using Wix Events, an email will automatically be sent to your guests. You can edit this email with your own personal message. Just go to your Wix dashboard and make sure these emails are set to active. Offer refunds. Make sure to handle ticket refunds quickly. This is important to avoid chargebacks as well as maintain valuable relationships with your guests. If you created your event with Wix, read about how your refund will be processed. When you refund tickets that included a Wix service fee, the service fee is fully refunded (to you or your guest) by the payment processor. Add a refund policy. Reduce the risk of chargebacks by adding a refund policy to your "About Event" section. This will make event-goers feel more secure about how you're handling the situation. Keep attendees updated. Things can change very quickly. Make sure event details on your website are current. Share precautionary measures you’re taking to keep everyone safe. Add travel updates based on where people are coming from. Let your guests know in advance about changes using the following tools:Send them an email with links to relevant information.Contact guests from the Members Area of your site.Broadcast a message or create a post on the Wix mobile app.Add an FAQ section to respond to confusion. Move your event online. Determine if your event can take place virtually. If so, add links to your event page. Consider the following options:Create a live stream with Wix Video.Use Facebook Live, Instagram TV or Periscope to broadcast your event on social media.Transform your event into a webinar. Post guidelines and safety tips. Create clear safety guidelines for your event and share them with every attendee. Make sure these guidelines are consistent with your local health organization’s recommendations. Include reminders to wash hands, avoid unnecessary contact and touching of the face. Place these directives prominently on your event page and on signs at the event. Provide hygiene stations. Set up stations where attendees can wash their hands. Include sanitation gel or face masks with your giveaway bags. You can even brand these items with your event logo. STORES Manage your inventory. Many localities in China and across the world are currently on lockdown. With this in mind, consider alternative ways to fulfill your orders. If your regular product supply is impacted by the current situation, let your customers know. You can source products with dropshipping suppliers, like Modalyst, to supplement your stock. Alternatively, you can use print on demand services like Printful or Printify to quickly create custom products. When sourcing or creating your own products, pivot toward items that can be useful to customers right now. Update your timeframes. Because of how unprecedented this pandemic is, there are a lot of dynamic elements. To keep providing the best customer experience, make sure your policies are up to date. Let customers know from the outset that delivery may take longer than usual. Edit your store's shipping and delivery policies to reflect these changes. Encourage online shopping. If you have a brick and mortar store, get your customers to shop online. Offer coupons and discounts to make that option more appealing.

  2. SERVICES & APPOINTMENTS It's becoming increasingly important to remain at home to avoid spreading the virus. In light of this, here are some recommendations for those in the service industry. Go virtual. While there is nothing like in-person human interaction, consider offering virtual courses and consultations through video or live stream. Many meetings and classes can be moved online using tools like Google Hangouts, Skype and more.

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