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Thought Leaders: Tips for post-COVID-19 business recovery plans

Soon after the coronavirus pandemic disrupted business as usual, small and large businesses alike immediately had to shutter their doors or find new ways to operate under the restrictions of social distancing and stay-at-home orders.

Businesses will have to shift yet again once the pandemic is over and things return to not-so-normal from changes in markets and behaviors. As businesses do so, they should engage in honest, fair and trustworthy practices—customers will remember them for avoiding cutting corners and setting a great example in these uncertain times.

This shift may take innovating products and services, working on recovery plans and finding new ways to bring back customers who may have altered their buying patterns or reduced their spending.

Be Innovative

Innovation isn’t only about products and services; it’s about creating value for customers in a thoughtful manner. Right now, customers are seeking ways to replace their favorite theaters, restaurants, coffee shops and gathering places.

Once the pandemic ends, can you think of what your customers will value then? Will they be more reluctant to go out or go to places with large groups? Will they be more cautious in their interactions?

Whatever you do, make the customer the center of your business model, showing them it’s about their needs and not about what your business does.

Plan for Recovery

Secondly, plan for recovery when customers will be able to return to the storefront and want to spend again. Collect data from your social media profiles; launch surveys to identify customer needs and desires; and create campaigns and offerings now that you can implement post-crisis.

Update Online Profiles

Another recovery plan is to keep your business’s online profiles updated. Use the right-size images and the same branding image across platforms and in emails and other correspondence. Choose the right keywords in profiles and blog posts to improve discoverability in online searches. And build social trust by asking customers for recommendations, reviews and endorsements.

Also, think about your business in the long-term. Once the coronavirus is under control, businesses will want to have an emergency response plan in place, particularly for the next pandemic or global crisis.

The result will be a stronger and more decisive leadership, a quicker response to change and even better offerings for the customer.

Promote Your BBB Accreditation

BBB’s logo sums it up, “Start With Trust.” Businesses that are accredited abide by BBB’s ethical business practices and carry out the BBB Standards for Trust, which consists of eight principles important for creating and maintaining trust in business.

The principles include building trust by establishing and maintaining a positive track record in the marketplace, advertising honestly, telling the truth about products and services, being transparent, honoring promises, responding to marketplace disputes, safeguarding privacy and embodying integrity in business dealings and transactions.

And remember building trust now makes recovery later that much easier.

Start with Trust® For more tips and information, visit bbb.org.