Whilst different businesses will have experienced COVID-19 in a variety of ways, it’s almost guaranteed that every business will have felt some kind of impact. As part of this, many organisations will be finding that the way that they acquire customers will have shifted.

The selling of products has traditionally worked in a straightforward way, with the support of marketing, sales and aftercare teams. However, the changes in the modern world and dawn of digital technologies has impacted this. The shape of the sales process has shifted from a funnel and into a ‘flywheel’, in which we want to keep drawing in customers again and again. Many of the trends that we are currently seeing were already happening prior to COVID-19, but have been accelerated as a result.

How can your business ensure that the wheel continues to spin as we emerge from the crisis and in to the future? What action can you take from today?

The power of customer advocacy

It is going to be absolutely essential to get your customers talking to each other and promoting your business. Levels of trust have significantly decreased in traditional forms of media and we now rely heavily on social media. Don’t be afraid to reach out to customers and ask for a testimonial. It could be a good idea to build customer advocacy into your sales process, e.g. by sending an automated follow up email that requests some feedback from your customers.

If it’s relevant to your business, try building user-generated content into your strategy by encouraging customers to share images of them using your products and services.

Education is key

It is crucial to be educating your customers, data suggests that people will buy from the first organisation that tells them things they didn’t know about the subject.

Enhanced customer experience

Work on getting the customer experience right. If your products are being sold online, you need to ensure speed and ease of access to information for your customers. Web chat has been particularly prominent during lock-down, this is an excellent way of answering a question quickly and allowing your customer to get straight to their point.

Provide after sales care

Be proactive with your after sales care operation, contact your customers and ensure that they are getting the most possible out of their product. Some organisations are employing 'Customer Success Advocates' whose sole responsibility is to ring the customer and check up on their experience with the product or service.

Use data to make decisions

Ensure that you are using data to drive your business decisions. Data will allow you to predict what will happen in your business, as opposed to simply reflecting on what has happened and guessing.

You don’t need a large budget to start looking at data, you can apply a number of tools that will allow you to see how your audience are interacting with your digital activities (e.g. Google Analytics) and then this can be used for future decision making.

If you are interested in learning how you can use digital marketing to help your business succeed, Jonathan Wagstaffe will be running a workshop on the 29th of July. In this session, he will revisit some of these points in further detail and will be applying the lessons to your business. The small group setting will allow you to identify real, actionable changes that you can make starting now.

Jonathan is a tech entrepreneur, digital marketing educator, and keynote speaker, with decades of experience of growing businesses.

In 2018 he launched Growva, an organisation designed to educate and help leaders of growing businesses to increase sales and customer engagement by better using their websites and other digital tools. He is actively involved in how Growva's customers use digital and inbound marketing to drive sales growth in 2020.