Keep your customers engaged as your business shifts during COVID-19
- June 2, 2020
- Food News
So you’ve done a full assessment of your business’s assets and have started the ball rolling on adapting and innovating your services. Now you’re ready for step 3 — bringing your customers on your business journey.
In this article we’ll share how you can more effectively communicate your business changes to better engage with your customers.
BUT FIRST, WHAT IS CUSTOMER ENGAGEMENT AND DO YOUR CUSTOMERS NEED IT?
Customer engagement is all about the emotional connection between your brand and your customers. It’s about:
- Promoting brand awareness
- Encouraging brand loyalty
- Creating a customer experience
Highly engaged customers are more likely to:
- Buy more from you
- Promote you more often to other potential customers
- Demonstrate their loyalty, especially in challenging times
With the ever evolving COVID-19 landscape, now, more than ever, is it vital for your business to have a customer engagement strategy that makes connecting and communicating to your customers easy, so they can continue to support you financially.
Here’s some of our ideas on how you can be innovative and creative when it comes to engaging with your patrons.
Even with restrictions lifting and more venues opening up, there are businesses who aren’t ready to open their doors to sit down patrons, and many people are still staying home, too.
Socialising from home looks like it’s set to stay, at least for a little while longer, so make sure your socialising online too. Some ideas to socialise and engage online include:
- Offering online entertainment, like pub quizzes, ticketed gigs and online comedy nights
- Selling online takeaway specials, like a mate’s ‘burger and beers’ pack so people can socialise at home
- Collaborating on an online support local campaign to build multiple brand awareness across your suburb
Social media is more important than ever — if your business isn’t already communicating via social media, don’t delay and get social today. Social media lets you:
- Inform your patrons about what’s happening and what you’re doing (it’ll probably be the first place they look for updated opening hours and services)
- Market your business in a cost-effective way, giving you the biggest bang for your marketing budget
- Control your image making your customers feel connected and in the know with what’s happening
Some ways you can easily start to communicate via social media include:
- Engaging in interactive polls, quizzes and competitions
- Broadcasting updates on hours, entertainment and takeaway specials
- Posting “how to” menu and cocktail items
- Promoting the “support local” campaign
MAKE IT EASY FOR CUSTOMERS TO CREATE AT HOME
Cooking and baking has become popular COVID-19 pastimes for people stuck at home. You can get in on the action by offering your patrons:
- Cooking demos and “how to” videos (they’re easy to set up via Facebook or Instagram)
- Selling dish ingredient packs with a recipe and video demo, making it convenient for your customers to make the dish at home, with the ingredients they buy from you
- A cocktail on your couch experience by teaching them how to create their favourite drinks at home
- A bring the bar home experience by delivering their favourite cocktails
You could even run a social media competition with anyone who makes a particular meal participating by posting a photo of their take on something from your menu. The photo with the most likes wins.
Note: you should check your state’s licensing rules when it comes to alcohol.
You want your patrons ordering, now. Timed offers for weekly, (or daily delivery) specials not only gets them ordering more regularly, but keeps them engaged with your business.
Other out of the box ways to engage your patrons
Here’s some more ideas to get you started on your COVID-19 customer engagement strategy:
- Create and share employee highlights about their daily routines
- Host a virtual Q&A with your customers, what do they most want to know about your business?
- Create polls encouraging patrons to vote on future service ideas
- Give virtual, behind the bar tours
- Share inspirational quotes or fun, uplifting posts with popular hashtags like: #motivationalmonday, #happyfriday, #ThrowbackThursday
- Share patron recommendations
- Share little-known facts about your venue and suburb
- Share feel-good stories from your local area
WE’RE HERE TO HELP
Our Foodie team are here to serve. Whether that’s sourcing new products, helping to re-cost your recipes to reduce your COGs or planning a whole, profitable condensed menu to reduce food wastage and boost your bottom line. Get in touch