Contibuted by Neal Polachek, Founder of ThinkLikeAnApp

Earlier this week, I visited Thryv’s Small Business Expert Webinar Series, along with Grant Freeman, Thryv’s VP of Client Success. During this action-packed 40 minutes, we helped small business owners think of ways to level-up their customer experience.

Customer experience in the “now normal,” as Grant put it, is more important than ever. For the local small business operator, communicating effectively with existing customers and prospects is essential. Here’s why it’s more important than ever: While we all know that Dominos is open, and it has instituted comprehensive Coronavirus procedures – e.g. contactless delivery and payment. We’re much more in the dark about what local businesses are doing.

As you move forward, please make sure that before you open, you’ve re-tooled your practices and procedures. There’s a ton of consumer research out there indicating that consumers are going to be anxious about doing business with you. Large national companies, such as Chipotle, can use national advertising to demonstrate how they’ve made the necessary precautions. However, you as a small business owner will have to make the same case. By leveraging your website, email, texting and digital advertising, you can communicate with your customers and prospects what steps you’ve taken to address their concerns, and yours.

3 Pillars that Help You ThinkLikeAnApp

That’s where the ThinkLikeAnApp concept comes in. Paying attention to how your business is addressing Authenticity, Transparency and Immediacy is paramount in today’s local modern commerce marketplace. Here are some of the great questions that the webinar viewers shared with us.

  1. How do I get better at these quickly? Take little steps before taking big steps. The first thing a business owner should do is take a hard look from the outside and examine, as objectively as possible, how your business is matching up with the three pillars. Examine your website to see if you’re communicating a notion of authenticity. Stand back and wonder if you can expose more of your process to bring your customers and prospects deeper into your business. Then ask yourself if there are steps along a customer’s buying journey to your business that you could quickly eliminate.
  2. Do the 3 pillars of Authenticity, Transparency and Immediacy apply equally to all businesses? The answer is probably not. But that doesn’t mean that as a business owner you shouldn’t push to raise your level on all three pillars. Maybe the painting contractor doesn’t need to share much about their supply chain and what’s in their paint, whereas the hair stylist might definitely want to communicate that their products are organic, made in the U.S. and not tested on animals. Likewise, the dentist might deploy software that can address patient inquiries 24/7, but the roofing contractor may not see the need. I do believe that communicating your authenticity is critical no matter what type of business you operate.

Communication Is Key to Ease Client Concerns

A viewer asked: “I’m in the custom clothing business and want to make my clients more comfortable when they are being measured, and I also want them to know I’m mobile and can go to them.” I would treat the opportunity just like a medical practitioner might treat a home visit.

Be super clear about the procedures put in place to address a client’s concerns. Consider creating a short video that demonstrates the steps you’re taking, and post it on your website and social channels. It might include a daily temperature reading for both the provider and the customer.

Want to learn more? Sign up for the upcoming ThinkLikeAnApp Playbook. To watch last week’s webinar, click here for access.