The lockdown is in effect and here at Daniel Atkinson Photography most photo shoots are on hold in keeping with government advice on non-essential work, distancing and staying at home. Businesses requiring essential photo or video content to support them during the lockdown should get in touch and we’ll discuss your requirements. Enquiries for photo shoots and services after the lock down period has ended are also welcomed. Video and 360 virtual tours are available in addition to stills photography for the marketing of venues and services, while physical visits remain limited. I’m here to take enquiries and help businesses through this difficult time.

This is my message about being open for business during the Covid-19 lockdown – what about yours? At this time, unlike any other in recent memory, it’s crucial to show that your business is present and to communicate the services you’re offering right now.

Uncertainty loses clients

Nearly all business are having to adapt how they do business during the lockdown period. While some have had to close out of necessity, many more are still operating by putting in place remote working procedures. It’s fantastic that businesses can continue to operate, but spend a moment to put yourself in the shoes of potential customers.

The normal customer experience of reliable and predictable services has been turned completely on its head in recent weeks. Most of the high street is closed, traditional shopping practices have been transformed to support distancing and even online deliveries are not as dependable as they once were. From the point of view of the consumer, there are no certainties about which businesses and service are available now.

For us business owners, this presents a challenge that demands clear communication. Don’t leave your website as is and assume that your customers will think you’re open as normal – they won’t. When it doubt, a customer could call but it’s easier to hop online and check. Let’s see what happens when they do…

Example 1: The same old website

A potential customer wants to know whether a business is open so they quickly visit the website to check. On opening the page the website looks exactly the same as usual. Normal contact and service details but the customer knows that these can’t be operating during the current lockdown. Doubt sets in. Is the office even open? Has the business closed? They turn to social media and check the business’s Facebook page. The last post was in Feburary. This business looks closed. It’s time to move on and look at the next provider of what they need. The customer is lost.

Example 2: Lockdown messaging in place

Now a potential customer visits another website to see whether this business is operating. On arrival they immediate see a banner across the page stating that the business is still operating with staff working from home and that calls are being taken as usual, or even longer hours than usual – fantastic. There’s a link through to a page detailing how services have altered for the current time but there’s savvy use of video conferencing to move things forward. The business’s social media channels have the same messages, showing staff working at home or graphics of how video conferencing is working. The customer, buoyed with confidence and reassurance that this business is there for them gets in touch and the transaction goes ahead.

Small but essential customer communication

If you’ve not got this clear customer communication in place, do it now. This isn’t so much marketing as setting out your basic business information. You’ve probably not had to do this since you set the business up but it is absolutely necessary now.

Need help?

If you’re unsure about what information you should be adding or how you should be communicating it, I’m here to help. I’ve worked in marketing and corporate communications for many years and I’m here to help businesses navigate this difficult time. And yes – I mentioned I’m still open for business, didn’t I? I’m happy to provide free advice on your best course of action, and if you need some additional help such as branding graphics or changing social media headers, that’s something I can do for you too.

However you’re doing business right now, stay safe and we’ll get through this together.

Daniel