Most small home-service companies rely on a steady stream of calls from customers in order to stay in operation. What happens if your phone stops ringing? Your business and livelihood…
Posted on May 27, 2020
During this unprecedented time of the global COVID-19 pandemic, you are navigating uncharted waters with your home-service business. Businesses like HVAC, electrical, plumbing, and home repairs have been classified as “essential” at this time, which means you have the green light to continue your business operations. But, with fear of contracting the virus, many customers and employees are uncertain about their safety when procuring and performing your type of service.
As an essential business, you are in a position to carry out routine service but it is critical to have a marketing presence that targets the pandemic situation in conveying important information about your service. As you embark on a strategy, you should do these two things:
- Take action to help existing customers know that you are open and operating during this time
- Look for ways to maximize your organic and social presence to get in front of people who need the services you provide
At WPdigital, we are available to assist you in updating information and communicating to your customers and prospects. We know this is a very busy and stressful time and we are here to help. Give us a call at 919-944-4284 or contact us today!
We are offering 3 tips that are critically important as you continue to provide services during COVID-19.
Tip #1: Know the regulations
Stay apprised daily of the local, state, and federal regulations to mitigate the harm of COVID-19 as they are changing rapidly. You must keep informed both locally and nationally of the forms of service you are allowed to offer in this dynamic situation. Make required changes in your services and effectively communicate these adoptions.
Tip #2: Communicate
Communication is the key to giving people the peace of mind they need to do business with you. Being clear about how you are doing business and the precautions you are putting in place is of utmost importance. Consumers will want to have information such as your hours of operation and any new policies as they relate to the pandemic. New policies include cashless transactions, methods of handling of materials, and procedures for working inside homes. There are many channels for you to communicate your policies.
On your website
You can place important information on your website in different places like a banner on the homepage, blog posts, and even on a newly created page specific for COVID-19.
- Provide the most complete information about how your business has been affected by COVID-19, and detail any services that remain available to customers.
- Be sure hours of operation are accurate everywhere they are mentioned on the website, including the homepage, contact page, about page, and landing pages.
- If your main contact phone number has changed due to the situation, update that number each place it exists on the website. Don’t overlook headers, footers, or sidebars as places your contact info may be.
- If you have a blog, use it to keep the public updated about the availability of products and services.
- Be sure your website contains highly visible links to any social media platforms you are using to provide updated information.
Due to the fact that Google plays such a major role in your business, it’s important to communicate on your Google My Business (GMB) profile. There are four fields you can utilize to communicate current information to customers via GMB, and Google has also created a post for COVID-19 that you can use.
You can edit your name to reflect that you are offering services as normal. For example, if the name of your business is “AAA HVAC Service,” Google allows you to temporarily change your name to “AAA HVAC Service — Operating Normally”.
If regulations are keeping you at home but you still want customers to be able to reach you on your home or cell phone for information, update your work answering machine to reflect the changes and edit your GMB phone number to the appropriate new number.
Hours of operation
If you are operating non-routine hours, you can put this in the meta description of your website. It’s visible in Google searches, however, many times people won’t read this. So, to ensure increased visibility, also put this in the banner on your homepage.
Google has newly created a Google post for COVID-19 that you’ll see as an option in your GMB dashboard. Try to fit as much information as you can about the changed status of your business into one of these posts.
On your social media and emails
Regardless of the social media platform on which your business has a presence (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube), there has never been a more vital time to communicate on these sites. As you know, by having the ability to share your posts, your audience can spread your information exponentially.
And, of course, email is one of the best tools presently at your disposal to message your entire base about changed conditions and special offers.
Tip #3: Important Information to Message
Let your customers know what safety practices you are taking in response to the situation to prevent canceled appointments. Lay out your interaction guidelines when performing the service. These can be communicated through your website, via email, or social media. Here are some examples of guidelines:
- You will only interact with the machines that you are working on.
- Your technicians will wear masks and gloves.
- You will keep a safety distance of 6 feet.
- Pets should be restrained or isolated.
- Preferred methods of payment are electronic or checks in sealed envelopes.
After booking the service, send an email that contains specific information on procedures you have in place during the pandemic. Some examples of what you want customers to know:
- Are you keeping your vans stocked with alcohol-based hand sanitizer and disposable wipes?
- Have you instructed technicians to clean their hands frequently?
- Have you instructed technicians to clean equipment that customers come in contact with?
- Have you instructed your techs to not initiate handshakes in greetings?
- Have you instructed your techs to wear face masks and gloves when appropriate?
Send a text to let the customer know when you are arriving and what they can expect:
- The name of the technician who is coming
- Timeframe for arrival (30 minutes, an hour)
- Details of the job
- Provide a way the customer can request no interaction during the service call such as via text or phone call
We hope you have found this information helpful in creating your communications. WPdigital is available to help in developing your business’s message during this time of COVID-19. Please give us a call at 919-944-4284 or contact us today!