We’re in unchartered territory as far as national emergencies go due to the global pandemic. School and restaurants are closing, events and sports games have been cancelled and everyone’s uncertain about what tomorrow will bring.
One thing is apparent however, without technology things would be much more difficult. This puts technology business owners in a unique position to be just the support their clients need at a time like this.
If you’ve been uncertain about what to focus on during this national emergency that is changing the way we live and work, read on for some suggestions on how you can be there for your customers to help them get through it, which can end up being a win-win situation.
Put the Focus on Helping
In the face of new closings and social distancing recommendations, it can be easy to become stagnant in your business, not knowing what to do. In times of uncertainty such as this, focusing on helping your customers not only helps them, it can help you and your team as well.
Highlighting how you can help your clients and be there for them gives you purpose and can also keep your business energized.
The key is to help, not sell. This definitely isn’t time to do a hard sell. One quote that sums up times like these well when it comes to business is:
“Asking “Who can I help today?” will always lead to a more fulfilling life than “How can I make more money today?” – Joshua Becker
Asking “Who can I help today?” can also lead to steady business rather than an unwanted dip in your traffic and leads.
Creative issues need creative solutions!
Here are several ways you can be nimble and creative during this extraordinary time.
Provide Timely, Helpful Info on Your Blog
Focus your blog on timely topics that will help your clients with the pertinent information they need. You can include both tech-related and local information related to closings.
If you’re short on time to get content written and up on your blog, remember, that every blog doesn’t have to be 1,000+ words. You can write something shorter or have a content writing service write several engaging blog posts about Coronavirus related topics for you that you can roll out on your site quickly, and promote via social media and email.
Here are some suggested topics:
- Tech needed for businesses to deploy remote workers
- How to handle cybersecurity for remote workers
- What IT basics are needed if your employer asks you to work from home
- Best free online schools/courses for kids to use for remote learning
- Tips for setting up successful remote meetings/webinars
- Local businesses that are offering delivery (i.e. restaurants, pharmacies, etc.)
- Tips to transition to work-at-home staff successfully
- How to keep your business going virtually when your town is asked to “shelter in place”
Get Creative with Remote Tech Support Packages
Many employers of all sizes are quickly transitioning to a remote workforce, and not all of them have a cohesive plan to do this.
Remote tech support, both business and residential, is going to be more in demand than ever as people are told to self-quarantine or “shelter in place” for long periods of time.
Offering some short-term deals on remote support, can help those who aren’t sure they’ll need support long-term, so might shy away from a monthly subscription, but who do know that they need help right now.
Here are some ways you can alter your current remote tech support services to fit specific client needs:
- Offer a short-term 4-week Employee Remote Support package for a flat rate per x number of employees.
- Offer a 2 or 3-week Student Tech Support Plan for parents trying to help their kids with online learning.
- Offer a Computer Tune-Up with Remote Support package for 1 month to help workers who’ve just found out they have to work from home on their own PC.
Offer Free Device Disinfecting Services with Repairs/Tune-ups
One thing that everyone is paying special attention to is washing their hands, wiping surfaces, and general hygiene. Electronic devices typically have our faces and hands on them all day long, so disinfecting these can be an extremely helpful service to offer customers.
Offer disinfecting services for computers, keyboards, smartphones, and tablets along with computer repair services, tune-ups, or as a modest add-on or for free for your monthly MSP clients.
Couple this with the next tip (see below) and you could find yourself with a lot more repair business than you thought possible, at the same time you’ll be giving people peace of mind.
A way to promote this on social media and by email might look like this:
How often are you touching your devices? FREE computer or smartphone disinfecting with every computer repair, tune-up, or virus removal!
Here are some great tips on what to use to disinfect electronics.
Offer Curbside Device Drop Off / Pickup
People are worried about social distancing more than anything else, but just because there’s a pandemic doesn’t mean they still don’t have computers, laptops, and other devices that need to be fixed.
Make things easy for them by offering curbside drop off and pickup. Give them a number to text when they’re in your parking lot and then text back a confirmation like “5 minutes” or “Be there in 1 minute.”
You can further assuage any fears by having your team wear nitrile or latex disposable gloves and either a face mask or scarf over their nose and mouth.
Promotion for this might look like this:
Get curbside pickup/drop off! Our team is gloved/masked for everyone’s safety. Text us when you get here, and we’ll be right out, you never have to leave your car.
Help Retail Clients with a Quick E-commerce Site
For those technology business owners that also offer website services, you have the opportunity to save a small business owner from closing completely. Offer quick E-commerce sites that can be a simple way for their customers to still buy from them and either pick up the item or have it shipped.
Speed is of the essence during times like these, so do something with a simple logo and that just gives them the means to offer online purchases and that will also be economical. This could be especially helpful for local restaurants with loyal clientele who can’t or are afraid to go out to eat and could help them stay in business by offering carryout.
Ask Clients What They Need
You can get a lot of great intel and find opportunities both to help and earn business doing it by asking what people need in relation to technology right now.
Just the other day, I was reviewing our neighborhood Facebook page and saw where one parent who worked 12-hour shifts was asking who she could pay to help her child with their online schooling. That’s a need she didn’t have just two weeks ago.
Call your clients up and express your sincere concern and ask about their needs. You can also post the question through your email newsletter and social media feed, and you might find that people are having technology related issues novel to the events of the past few weeks.
Host Tech-Related Facebook Live Events
With more people at home and isolated than usual, nearly everyone is looking for ways to connect with the outside world, so they don’t go stir crazy. Host a Facebook Live event that is tailored to a specific customer type to teach and answer questions.
Facebook Live videos get 6x as many interactions as traditional videos and 10x more comments.
Some topic suggestions might be:
- Video Meeting Tips to Help Seniors Connect with Friends/Family
- Web Parental Controls to Know for Out of School Kids & Teens
- How Connect to Your Work Computer from Home
- How to Ensure IT Security for Your Small Business Remote Workers
- Free Online Tools Offered by Cisco, Google, & More (cover how to use these)
Highlight Client Businesses in a Special Email Newsletter
Small businesses have to stick together. Show your clients and fellow SMBs that you care by highlighting them in a special email newsletter to your list. Ask them for any information on special hours they have or services they’re offering in the wake of Coronavirus outbreak.
Be sure to include yours too! (Curbside drop off, device disinfecting, etc.)
Offer the Local Media Help with Tech Questions
Technology is playing a huge role during this pandemic. Just think where everyone would be if they couldn’t use their computers and internet to work and go to school online.
People are bound to have plenty of technology questions related to remote working/studying during the Coronavirus outbreak.
Send your local news stations and newspaper an email letting them know you’ll be happy to be a helpful resource for tech related questions on topics like, “How to log into my work computer from home” and “How can I make sure my employees are practicing good cybersecurity while working remotely?”
Creative Solutions for a Win-Win
When life as we know it changes, those who can be nimble with helpful, creative solutions often ensure a better outcome not only for their business but for the clients they serve.
How have you adjusted your business services during the pandemic? Share in the comments!