5 Marketing Tips for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 - NextME Virtual Waitlist App

5 Marketing Tips for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19

5 Marketing Tips for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 - NextME Virtual Waitlist App

The following post is from a guest contributor. 

Are you managing a business that recently reopened or made major changes in operations due to COVID-19 and the associated lockdowns? If so, then a lot about the way you’ve typically done business has been flipped on its head. Still, it’s important that even while you’re working to make sure that your overall operations are still running smoothly, you’re effectively marketing your business and ensuring future growth. Here’s how your business can reach new and existing customers during the pandemic. 

Marketing Tips for Businesses Impacted by the Coronavirus

Understand Changing Customer Needs 

With unemployment still high, many consumers have shifted their purchase habits. However, it’s important to remember that different customers react to economic downturn differently. While some groups are cutting their spending significantly, others are making purchases as they would in normal times. 

To better focus your marketing efforts, it’s important to recognize which demographic groups your business is serving. To do this, take surveys of your customer base to get a better idea of how their spending habits have shifted in recent months. You can then tailor your messaging to better serve their needs. For example, if you see that a majority of your customers are willing to maintain spending levels on purchases they deem “essential”, you can tailor your marketing messages to emphasize why your services are essential. 

Leverage Text Messaging 

In uncertain times like these, it’s important to connect with your existing customers so they understand everything that’s happening with your business. Right now, the best way to do this is through text messaging. Studies show that text messaging has a stunning open rate of 98% compared to just 31% for email. 

There are several ways that you can leverage text messaging. You can use texting to send relevant deals and offers, update customers about your business operations, or send appointment or delivery reminders. 

Collect Online Reviews 

When customers do a Google search for your business, one of the first things that they’ll see is your online reviews. Because of this, reviews can help boost all of your other marketing efforts. Whether a customer hears about you through print, radio, or a Facebook ad they are likely to Google you and see what other customers are saying about you. 

To make sure that you’re putting your best foot forward to customers, implement an online reputation management strategy and make an effort to solicit reviews from your customers. You can make the process easy for customers by sending requests through texts and email that link directly to your profiles on review sites. That way, all your customers have to do is click a link and leave a review.

Change Your Listings 

Most businesses have gone through significant operational changes in the past few months. Of course, many loyal customers may simply be unaware of these changes because they’ve had their own life issues to deal with. It’s important that you give them the information they need to re-engage with your business when they’re ready. 

If you’ve recently reopened your business locations or taken additional steps to protect customer safety, you should update your listings on sites like Google My Business and other business listings sites. That way, customers searching your business can see right away the changes in your business operations and understand the steps that you are taking to keep them safe. 

Leverage Social Media 

With more people spending more time indoors, customers are more likely to be scrolling through Facebook or looking at their Twitter. That means it’s even more important for your business to leverage social media. 

Try to post relevant content that speaks to some of the concerns that your customers might be experiencing. For example, this Instagram post by Nature’s Bakery showed some fun activities that customers could do while at home with their families. 

 

5 Marketing Tips for Businesses Impacted by COVID-19 - Leverage Social Media - NextME Virtual Waitlist App

If you’re a smaller team or you don’t feel like you have the resources to leverage social, don’t worry. You can still have a successful social media strategy on a smaller scale. Try to focus on one platform where you feel that your target audience spends the most time. 

In Conclusion 

Marketing your business during normal times is tough. Standing out from the competition in uncertain times like these is even more difficult. But with the right strategy, your business can be the obvious choice in the area. 


3 Ways Restaurants Can Use NextME’s App to Increase Their Bottom Line

Running a restaurant and getting customers in the door is not easy. Even popular restaurants are seeing prospects flee towards the exit due to long wait times for a table. NextME’s digital waitlist for restaurant employees is significantly improving the customer’s experience at the front-of-house (F-O-H) and has helped restaurants increase customer retention during wait times.

What’s the secret? Communication. By leveraging mobile technology, NextME makes it easy for restaurants to seamlessly connect and relay to diners their position in line. Taking the guessing game out of waiting has helped restaurants and other businesses drive more sales over the course of three years, and we want to continue to do so by sharing some tips to help your restaurant improve your bottom line.

1. Communicate with Customers Effectively

Communication is key to getting your customers in the door and also getting them to stay. With NextME’s digital waitlist app, restaurant hosts can send guests an automated SMS text where diners can easily track their place in line using a weblink. With a simple text message, customers are engaged with their position in line and reduces their anxiety as it allows them to manage their time back to the restaurant. Two-way texting also allows customers to reply with “1” to confirm their reservation or “2” to cancel without having to call or physically return to the host stand.

2. Increase Customer Retention

Using SMS text as a tool to communicate with your patrons helps increase customer retention by up to 25% during peak hours. Compared to shouting customer’s names one by one off a clipboard, restaurant partners find that their retention rates of waiting patrons increase from 60% up to 90% when using NextME’s app. With NextME, hosts can easily manage your patrons’ expectations in real time, allowing your restaurant to retain more customers during peak hours and drive more sales.

3. Improved Marketing ROI

Using text messages for your restaurant increases the value your restaurant can bring to your customers. NextME’s text message includes a web link that will direct patrons to the restaurant’s mobile marketing page. This page will be styled and branded according to the restaurant’s preferences, such as displaying menus, drink specials and social media pages. Displaying marketing content to waiting patrons increases customer engagement and takes care of patrons when your hosts are too busy checking for table availability. On average, restaurants are getting 20–30 minutes of consistent engagement on NextME’s marketing page.

To learn more about how NextME app can help drive more sales for your restaurant and increase your bottom line, check out our page here.

Ready to introduce NextME to your business? Request a demo from us!


What are Restaurants Saying about NextME’s Digital Waitlist App?

What you’ve been waiting for has finally arrived. NextME is the go-to waitlist app for restaurant employees that allows diners to add their cell phone number to hold their place in line. That means no more antiquated pen and paper waitlist for hosts and those yucky, germ infest pagers for diners. While there are other similar waitlist platforms on the market, NextME is different and unique in its own way.

NextME app allows hosts to manage walk-ins more efficiently; all they have to enter is a patron’s name, party size and cell phone number into the digital waitlist and the app will send an automated SMS text to diners to easily access their position in line using a weblink. No mobile app needed for diners to download.

NextME’s digital waitlist makes it easy for restaurant hosts to keep track of their waiting patrons and notify guests with a touch of a button. No more shouting guest names off a clipboard and searching for customers in a crowd. While pagers may seem fascinating for first-time users, their clunkiness is tiresome and they are expensive for restaurants to replace — pagers can cost anywhere from $25 to $100 per device.

Taking the guessing game out of waiting has helped restaurants retain more customers during peak hours by up to 25%. When restaurants use pen and paper waitlist, the average retention rate is 65%. When using NextME digital waitlist, restaurant partners find that their retention rates of waiting patrons increase up to 90%. Providing the position in line has proven to help customers manage their commute back to the restaurant, increasing tables turns for the restaurant.

Below are some testimonials from a few of Chicago’s best on how NextME has helped their restaurant increased their bottom line:

Oiistar— “Our kitchen busy hours get extended.”- Oiistar Restaurant Owner

Kuma’s Corner — “Our table turns are dramatically better and we don’t have as many walk outs which helps increase our revenue.”- Kuma’s Corner Restaurant Owner

Café Selmarie— “It’s like New Year’s Eve waiting for your table!”- Café Selmarie Diner

To read more testimonials, click here!

Ready To Introduce A Digital Waitlist App To Your Business?

Have any questions or curious as to what benefits a digital waitlist app like NextME can do for your restaurant or business? Comment below or reach out to us!

It’s time to say goodbye to outdated pager systems! Try a FREE 14-day trial of NextME and replace your expensive pager system with SMS text.

If you’re a diner, no need to download the NextME app. Let us know your favorite no advance reservation policy restaurant and we’ll send you $50.00! Here’s a link to referral program.

Happy Waiting,

The NextME team