With all the uncertainty that Covid-19 brings, there’s one thing we can be sure of: how you communicate with your customers now, will effect your business long term. Now is the time to show customers how much you appreciate them. When you open your doors again, they’ll remember the efforts you made to keep in touch, and will want to re-connect in person. And don’t forget, it’s harder to get new customers than it is to keep the ones you have.
Over the last few weeks, we’ve been talking to our users and asking what we can do help them right now. One request kept coming up over and over: for a virtual meeting tool. It makes sense; if you can’t meet your customers in person, the next best thing is meeting them virtually. We’re really happy to tell you we just launched a digital meeting app for GoToMeeting – an integration with Zoom is coming soon. And as a token of our support, we’re offering these Enterprise apps completely for free till June, to any business who is struggling at the moment.
While many professionals are used to communicating via video, for others it’s brand new territory – and can be a little daunting. And for some, there’s a bigger challenge still: if the service you offer is hands-on, like massage, physical therapy, or hair styling, there’s simply nothing that substitutes performing that service in person. But there is space for you to get creative, and offer your skills and knowledge in alternative ways. If you fall into this category, we’ve listed some ideas below.
Personal trainers and physical therapists:
Without access to gyms and classes, lots of PTs are offering training sessions and group classes via video, so clients can get in workouts at home. As well as the obvious health boosting benefits, it’s a really nice way for classmates to stay in touch with each other. In addition to work outs, why not host a series of knowledge sharing webinars? Sessions could address the specific challenges that spending a lot of time at home bring about: how to keep your motivation up; how to limit snacking; how to develop better sleep habits. You can invite participants to ask questions or chip in with their own experiences to keep the group dynamic up.
Many teachers are using video to educate their pupils from home and have pupils stay connected. But it’s not just school teachers: music tutors, art instructors, and speech therapists are using video for one-on-one and group sessions. Chat boxes, break out rooms, and white board features can help manage larger groups and ensure all attendees feel involved. While you can’t re-create the same learning environment as in person, it’s still a way to boost motivation and help your tutees stay on track with learning. And it means it will be much easier to pick up the pace when the time comes back round for you to have physical sessions.
More and more real estate agents are using video to give virtual tours of properties. As an added bonus, these can also be recorded for clients to review at their leisure afterwards. If you work in insurance or finance, perhaps you can offer webinars on specific topics; say a break down of different household insurance packages, or how pension providers differ and what’s important to look out for. As there will likely be plenty of questions, an interactive video session could work really well.
Hair stylists and estheticians:
Self care boosts our mood – something we can all do with right now. If your business falls in this industry, why not offer some interactive classes for your clients? Something where you can share techniques and tips on caring for yourself at home. If you’re a hair stylist, you could offer a “how-to” on extending your color in-between touch ups. A step-by-guide on how to re-create the perfect at-home facial could also be popular right now.
We hope that’s given you some inspiration. To finish with, we’ve listed some practical tips on how to make group video sessions successful.
- Ask your customers what they want. Put up a post on Facebook or ask for input on Instagram to gather ideas. This way, you can be sure that the content you deliver is relevant.
- Offer value and variety. It’s better to offer a focused session aimed at a smaller group of participants interested in a niche subject, than to try and include a bit of something for everyone.
- Remember, your customers may be new to video too. It can feel a bit strange connecting via screen instead of in-person, so make sure to ask for feedback and see there’s anything you can do to make them feel more comfortable.
- Don’t be afraid to fail. If your first virtual session isn’t as successful as you were hoping, don’t give up. If you can, get feedback and act on it. Practical changes, like switching up the time or day, or making the session longer or shorter, could make a difference.
Feeling inspired? We’ve made it possible for you to auto-schedule meetings from TIMIFY with Zoom and GoToMeeting. Customers can self-schedule online for interactive webinars or classes. You can use these tools for team meetings or one-on-one sessions. Our app is pretty straight forward to use, but if you’re not familiar with GoToMeeting, it’s worth familiarizing yourself with their software first. We put together a support article that covers all the essentials on GoToMeeting. And the apps are available in our marketplace.
To support all independent business owners, we’re offering these apps for free right up until the end of June 2020.