Today we shine a spotlight on the fantastic ways that Point Franchise businesses have been communicating and using marketing effectively to enhance the customer experience during the COVID-19 crisis.
This isn’t an easy time for businesses in the UK. To make sure you come out on top in these turbulent times, make sure you don’t neglect your customer relationship marketing. Take inspiration from these Point Franchise businesses that are using marketing to enhance the customer experience by being clear, transparent and helpful.
1. Managing customer expectations during crisis
In a global crisis like the coronavirus outbreak, it’s important that your customers know how you will still provide the same service. Wiltshire Farm Foods is one franchise that’s hit the nail on the head.
Panic-buying has resulted in empty supermarket shelves and therefore customers of the UK’s leading home delivery food franchisor are quite right to question whether they will still receive their orders in full and on time. To provide some reassurance and manage customer expectations, it tweeted:
“As of Monday, we redeployed a large number of staff to help our front-line workers. From working in our kitchens, to picking and delivering orders, our team is going above and beyond to keep our service running smoothly.”
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2. Communicating important information
In a post in the news section of its website and on Twitter, Coffee Blue made it clear that it would be introducing a home delivery service to help customers impacted by the coronavirus.
“Coffee Blue Launches Home Delivery Service To Fight Coronavirus
Coffee Blue will be rolling out a food and drink home delivery service to help those impacted by coronavirus.
Despite the devastation COVID-19 – commonly known as ‘coronavirus’ – has caused, we remain determined to help our communities when they need it most.”
Another one of its Twitter posts included a picture detailing exactly how the home delivery service works.
This is an incredible example of a Point Franchise business communicating clearly with its digital and social media audience. As well as informing customers of how they can still access Coffee Blue services, it also shows that it is looking out for the individuals who need the most support.
Consumers are quick to judge how businesses act in unprecedented times like the COVID-19 crisis. Businesses that use digital marketing to provide clear information and showcase their good nature can help ensure that they keep, and even grow, their existing customer base.
3. Using social media to communicate clearly through times of change
Bella Italia updated its Twitter bio to “COVID-19: Most of our restaurants are now closed – some remain open for delivery and takeaway. Please check the website. Stay safe. Love from Team Bella.”
Its header image also says, “Visit our website to check your local restaurant to enjoy Bella at home.”
Bella Italia couldn’t really make it any clearer. As soon as you click on its Twitter page, you know that you can still get takeaway services from certain restaurants. Businesses should try to make it as easy as possible for customers to find the relevant information; if not, you risk them going somewhere else.
4. Showcasing special offers
The COVID-19 crisis has created significant difficulties for business owners and consumers alike. Special promotions are a great way to increase sales when times are hard, and also make customers feel like you’re treating them to an attractive deal.
The Incredible Ice Cream Company is one franchise that has been enticing customers with special offers. It tweeted:
What’s better than ice cream – #UNLIMITED ice cream of course! We have now introduced a special unlimited package and there are NO Limits! To find out more and secure a booking, get in contact – even if it’s for later in the year.
We are seeing lots of businesses offering discounts or gift cards for later in the year when the spread of coronavirus is under more control and things start to get back to normal. On top of helping businesses stay afloat, they give customers something to look forward to. For instance, a child’s birthday party that has had to be cancelled due to the lockdown can be rescheduled for later in the year – but this time with an Incredible Ice Cream Bar with unlimited ice cream!
Veeno is another Point Franchise business using special offers to boost spirits. A pop-up on its website advertises “free UK delivery for any order of six bottles or more and we believe that having wine delivered to your door will help keep the morale up for all our Veeno wine lovers!”
5. Providing a solution to a problem
While certain businesses will suffer significantly during the COVID-19 crisis, others won’t be hit so hard and may even flourish. Businesses that provide online tutoring services are a prime example of this, with all schools being closed until further notice.
In an open letter from the President of Tutor Doctor on the dedicated ‘Coronavirus’ tab on its website, the franchise describes how it is offering families an online tutoring resource. Being both personal and informative, the letter manages to describe clearly what it can provide without sounding like it’s taking advantage of the situation:
“We are looking forward to the day when the coronavirus is contained by our medical experts and we can once again resume our normal routine without worry. Until then, our tutoring network is here to help your children continue achieving their academic goals with as little disruption as possible.”
It also has heaps of helpful content on its blog, including everything from ‘School Closure Daily At-Home Schedule’ to ‘How Parents Can Help Children Deal With School Closures.’ Consider taking this approach yourself so you can show off your expertise and come across as a trusted source of information.
6. Increasing morale of customers
Coffee Blue is taking an active role in helping NHS workers. It tweeted:
If you know an NHS worker in one of the following locations, please tell them to contact us directly and we‘ll organise a free coffee of their choice delivered to them.
As well as NHS staff appreciating this act of kindness, Coffee Blue’s followers will look fondly on the gesture and value its sense of community spirit by looking out for those on the frontline of the COVID-19 outbreak.
>> Read more:
- What is the Marketing Fee and Why is it Necessary?
- Developing an effective franchise marketing plan
- How to market your franchise
- How to make the most of social media marketing
- Franchising 101: 8 Essential Marketing Strategies for Promoting Your Business
- Franchising 101: 6 Tips for Building Customer Loyalty Through Marketing
7. Promoting a business opportunity
With the British population being instructed to stay at home and work from home if possible, we’ve never spent more time staring at our phone and computer screens. And, for lots of us, we’ve never had so much time on our hands.
While this highlights the importance of online advertising for businesses, it also presents scope for advertising investment opportunities. My Window Cleaner is one franchise using social media marketing effectively to showcase an alternative opportunity for individuals struggling or just fancying a career chance during this tough time.
One tweet said: “Difficult times, but use time wisely. Investigate your new business opportunity, whilst considering your next move...”
There was also a quote from Winston Churchill underneath: “Never let a good opportunity go to waste.”
This inspirational quote helps contextualise the post and offers some words of encouragement from a powerful figure everyone is familiar with.
This shared a similar theme with another one of its tweets: “Given the job insecurity and redundancies to come (regretfully), now is actually a good time to consider starting your own business.”
This is a shining example of a business being realistic and truthful, while still keeping a sensitive tone. It suggests how readers can take a proactive approach and get something positive out of a negative situation.
8. Building stronger customer relationships
My Window Cleaner is also an incredible example of a business using marketing to build stronger customer relationships. One of its tweets provides valuable advice and shows followers that it cares about their wellbeing.
This is as true today, in business especially, [as] it ever has been. Make use of the period ahead and come out business sharp and fit. Stay safe and stay positive.
Again, My Window Cleaner uses a famous quote from Charles Darwin to reiterate its point and motivate readers during this frightening period:
“It is not the strongest of the species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change.”
Century 21 is another fantastic example of this. For one of its news articles on its website, it provided top tips for looking after your mental health at home. During the COVID-19 crisis, you can show customers that you can provide them with something of value without always asking for something in return.
Use marketing wisely to enhance the customer experience
Hopefully these examples of Point Franchise businesses using marketing to enhance the customer experience have demonstrated how effective customer relationship marketing on digital platforms can help your business survive, and even thrive, in challenging times like the COVID-19 crisis. And as a business owner, you can implement some of these techniques into your own marketing strategy. Read more about why staying connected with customers during the COVID-19 crisis is critical here.
Becky Martin, Point Franchise ©