Businesses are coming together to share information, connect and support each other, their employees and their customers during the outbreak of Covid-19. 
Photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archives
Businesses are coming together to share information, connect and support each other, their employees and their customers during the outbreak of Covid-19. Photo: African News Agency (ANA) Archives

Five steps businesses can take to stay in touch during Covid-19

By BR Correspondent Time of article published Mar 23, 2020

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DURBAN - Businesses are coming together to share information, connect and support each other, their employees and their customers during the outbreak of Covid-19.  

The livelihood of small businesses is crucial in South Africa, especially in challenging times.

"When businesses thrive, their communities and local economies do too. We continue to hear and see stories from around the world of how individuals and businesses are remaining resilient, everything from now offering virtual fitness classes to coaching and teaching students through Facebook LIVE. We know that businesses may experience unexpected challenges during this time, and we’re committed to providing as much support as possible through resources like our Business Resource Hub," said Nunu Ntshingila, Regional Director, Facebook Africa.

Below, are five steps that owners of small businesses can consider while they plan their strategies:

Keeping customers safe

Stay up to date by following credible, official sources such as the World Health Organisation (WHO) and the government health department so they can respond quickly to changes that could affect them or their customers. Follow WHO on Facebook or Instagram or use the WhatsApp Support Line: 0600-123456.

Staying in touch with customers

Proactively share important information with customers using email, the website or social media messaging platforms. The business owners might include information about the measures they are taking to make their premises or products safe, or how they will handle customer enquiries if there are expected delivery delays.

Try hosting online events

In case the business owners need to postpone or cancel any planned events as a result of the outbreak,  they should connect with their customers directly on their phone with an online webinar, organise live sessions using social channels, record videos and podcasts, and leverage social media posts and instant messaging.

Prepare a customer service plan

To be responsive and transparent with customers during these challenging times, prepare for incoming questions and requests. Consider drafting templated responses for emails or set up instant-reply messages with information they expect their customers will be looking for.

Provide a list of frequently asked questions (FAQs)

Prepare a list of responses for questions customers are likely to ask and provide as much detail and reassurance as possible in answers. 

BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE

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