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Covid-19 resources

19 businesses on how they’re utilizing their website during Covid-19

B12 asked small business owners around the country to share more about how their website has allowed them to maintain business operations during a global pandemic.

11 June 2020 · 7 min read

The past few months have presented business owners and their employees with an unprecedented level of uncertainty, and we’re all doing our best to adapt. B12 asked small business owners around the country to share more about how their website has allowed them to maintain business operations during a global pandemic.

Here’s what they shared with us, broken down into digestible insights. We hope it inspires you to bring your business online or update your existing website.

How has your website allowed you to continue serving customers during the pandemic?

Rely on chatbots

“We provide shop management software for independent auto repair shops and garages. To offer an alternative to those whose repair shops were affected by the virus but are still interested in our software, we’ve updated our inbound sales channels to accommodate potential customers who may have been financially impacted.

One example: Our website’s chatbot for customers viewing the pricing page now says ‘To shops affected by coronavirus: Can’t afford us but still want to use our software? Get in touch at [email address here].’

This allows us to break the ice and better navigate what may have been a potentially awkward conversation by getting ahead of the issue.”

– Sunny, Autoshopinvoice

“We’re lucky that our business is mostly online, since we connect people with internet providers. Most people find us through our website or Facebook, or they call us. However, we’ve hit a surprising challenge — we’re actually experiencing some growth. We’ve had around 10% more connection and upgrade requests over the past few months, and that is putting a strain on our customer service employees.

We’ve addressed that by introducing a chat option on the website, so that people can get instant, accurate information from our specialists without waiting on the phone. We’re working on chatbots to streamline the process even further. All the information our clients need is available online, so that makes things easier.”

– Sean, Internet Advisor

Manage an unexpected traffic surge

“Once the pandemic hit, traffic to our site surged. This was likely due to more people focusing on their investments as well as some outages Robinhood, a popular trading app, was experiencing. We ended up maxing out the traffic capability of our site and had to seek out new web hosting as a result.

We have also been working on a new website design for a few months. We decided to roll it out now as it is a better converting design from our testing. We want to make the most of all this new traffic.“

– Ryan, Investing Simple

Keep it current

“The Galactic Fed has shifted the content we are producing to reflect the current state of the world. For example, we’re producing blog content that provides industry insights and trends as it relates to Covid-19. Topics like how to communicate during a crisis, examples of companies that pivoted successfully, and we want readers and clients to gain valuable information that’s relevant and timely.”

– Zach, Galactic Fed

Offer exclusive content

“Since lockdown, I have recorded myself making healthy meals and added them to my website, with subscribers paying a small monthly fee to access them.”

– Elliot, Rave Reviews

Provide real value

“We started to take charge of our website to move from simply being a brochure to a way that our clients can interact with us and serve as a hub for their financial life.”

– Jason, Ball Comprehensive Planning

Streamline the process

“Our website was always our primary vehicle for serving customers, but we’ve optimized it to be more streamlined. We’ve also added live chat to assist people who may get lost in the process.”

– Dan, WikiLawn

Communicate using various channels

“I work with automotive dealers on their digital marketing, supporting their social media, email marketing, website maintenance, and more.

Now, while they need to interact with customers, the main focus can’t be to just “get them to the dealership.” It has to entail strong websites with a virtual showroom, email marketing, sending customized videos, strong chat services, texting, and more ways to communicate with customers.”

– Shawn, Shawn Ryder Digital

Offer online courses

“We have an online course library of over 100 hours of video courses, so we’ve been able to pivot to highlighting our online course offering.”

– Allison, Boot Camp Digital

Tell customers you’re open

“As an ecommerce company, our website is the primary way we connect with our customers. Our website has allowed us to communicate an important message during these uncertain times: we’re still open for business. We’ve been investing in our online marketing for several years, and it’s really paying off now because people are stuck at home and they are primarily making purchases online.”

– Jacob, Bytomic

Double down on engagement

“We made our presence stronger through content like newsletters and special promotions, specifically designed for quarantine and social distancing times. We added more interactive approaches such as Instagram Live and Facebook Live, giving our audience a chance to engage. Everyone loves a good giveaway, too!”

– Daniela, The Darl

Generate leads

“Our website has allowed us to continue business as usual and then some. Since our business is often done with non-local clients, the majority of our interactions with customers are done through automated messaging, emails, calls, and Zoom calls. Our website has helped us continue to attract customers. We have also updated the website to make it easier to schedule time with us to answer questions.”

– Devin, Miller IP Law

Promote products

“We sell high-end appliances and cabinetry through our showroom, and this is the only way to do our business because according to our agreements with manufacturers, we can’t use ecommerce. Still, we have a business website and use it to tell about our brand. Being online is essential during the current pandemic, and this is the only way we can promote our products and stay in touch with our customers now.”

– Justin, K&N Sales

Implement best practices

“Our website has been instrumental in serving customers during Covid-19. We placed a banner at the top of the site announcing how we continue to conduct business. We are also ensuring our website is mobile-friendly so customers can seamlessly access the information they need.”

– Judith, Horwitz & Associates

Collect payments and contact information

“We added the capability to accept payments digitally, which was intended to make things more seamless for clients and our accounting team, but it’s taking on extra significance now. We amended the lightbox that appears when someone visits our website (where they can sign up for our newsletter) and added language about how we are available to provide virtual services during this period.”

– Daniel, New Frontiers

Build a new tool

“I have created a tool for pre-screening customers just to allow potential clients to assess their prospects of getting a GSA contract on their own.”

–Joshua, GSA Focus

**Use **online scheduling

“I offer a free Zoom consultation, and have a Calendly form integrated into my website so potential clients can easily book a time at their convenience.”

– Alexis, Alexis Haselberger Coaching

“I do live online massage teaching sessions which are booked online through my website.”

– Elise, Wandering Hummingbird Massage

Integrate customer feedback

“We’re an online learning company, so the website is one of the linchpins of our success. What we’ve done is taken an even more empathetic stance on all the troubles that have occurred over the past few months and integrated customer feedback into the landing page copy.

This means we’re trying to better speak the language of our customers and acknowledge their troubles. This is critical because customer expectations will shift, and we need to be at the forefront of that shift, anticipating the copy or product changes that customers require.”

– Jason, Transizion

Need a new website to help you grow?

Interested in building a website or overhauling the one you have? Learn more about B12, a website platform that combines the best of AI and human designers to launch professional websites in weeks instead of months. It’s more affordable than working with an agency, is DIY-friendly, and offers built-in tools like SEO, email marketing, blog posts, and more.

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