In the space of a few months, COVID19 has changed the landscape of the hospitality industry. Around 75 million jobs have been put at risk and the loss in GDP for the industry is forecast to pass $2.1 trillion. As many of us are now experiencing a second lockdown, there are new levels of uncertainty for businesses in the industry.
Now is not the time to lose hope. Over the month of November, we have discovered how businesses across the food, drink and travel sector have tackled the current disruption with a positive outlook and pushed to innovate and change in order to create opportunity for themselves. As the hospitality industry looks towards the future, now is a time to reflect and prepare for the challenges and opportunities of the world of tomorrow. By re-centering your operations, you will be able to reopen on solid ground.
There is no lockdown on customer engagement
Your customers are not going anywhere. If anything, they are more active on social media and digital platforms than ever. At TWISPER, we saw a 4600% rise in users during the first lockdown in Europe. Social media was up 10.2% in June 2020 compared to June 2019 and internet usage was up 8.2% overall.
Going back to basics, remember your customer is at the heart of everything you do. Moving to digital platforms and enhancing your online presence will keep your customer engagement dynamic and fresh. Find out more about how TWISPER Business is empowering businesses by optimizing online presence.
Keep taking care of your team
Any business owner relies on his team for success and vice versa. Ensuring that your team remains cohesive and cared for during this time is important as you position yourself for the future. Going back to basics, your team is your greatest asset as a business owner, and a happy team is central to a happy customer. While certain employment measures at this time are necessary, there are ways to offset the negative impact of the current situation on your workforce. It is only natural that your team will be concerned for their jobs and future, take the opportunity to encourage them, train them and be honest.
- Ensure that your shared sense of purpose unites you. Engage in open conversations and show that you have their interests at heart.
- Give your team members projects to work on during lockdowns that will be fun, challenge them or teach them a new skill.
- Your team are often the ones dealing with the customer face-to-face: keeping communication flowing will generate a flow of new ideas and give you better insight into your customers.
Position yourself for the future with the positives of the past
Going back to basics when it comes to positioning yourself for the future means looking back at what has worked for your business and what hasn’t. Whether that be a particular menu item, seating arrangement, interior design or customer loyalty program. In a time where schedules can have more room in them than before, utilizing the time to reflect on what truly works for your business is key to future success.
We have seen a trend across social media, encouraging customers to support hospitality and gastronomy businesses by leaving positive recommendations of the places they enjoy. This support is at the heart of what TWISPER does. Leaving negativity out of the equation, TWISPER expands the network that a business can reach through digital word of mouth.
According to Forbes, word of mouth is the oldest, cheapest and most effective marketing tool in the book. Benefiting from positivity during this time takes us back to the basics of marketing: your customers’ recommendations to their friends and then their friends; a snowball of positivity that attracts new customers.
Encourage your customers to recommend your place on TWISPER, creating a positive loop of engagement. This gives them chance to reminisce on experiences of the past and gives you the chance to entice new customers through the desire for the same positive experiences in the future.
This time has been a time of reflection and uncertainty, however, by staying true to what you do best, and remembering the heart of what you do, you will be able to forge into the future in the spirit of positivity, growth and engagement. Negativity is a thing of the past, leave it firmly at the door to a positive future.
TWISPER is on a mission to bring fairness and positivity back to the hospitality industry. During this unprecedented time, we hope to cast light on the grit, resilience and determination that are an inherent part of the industry. We know that these qualities will lead to recovery and restoration as we look to the future. Subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest industry news and TWISPER announcements.