In recent months, our concept of “business-as-usual” has been entirely reinvented. Businesses need to be personal and seamless from a distance, provide a digitally savvy customer experience, and pivot to meet new consumer needs.

While a number of challenges have complicated our marketplace, some of our customers are thriving in the new “business-as-usual” by embracing findings from our recent “State of Local Business” report. Below is a list of five common challenges and how these customers are using Podium to solve them:

1. Communicating in real time (while minimizing in-person and phone interactions).

WGM Orthodontics is using automations as a digital waiting room to communicate with their customers in real time while minimizing in-person and phone interactions. When the orthodontist is ready to receive the patient, the office uses an automated system to message the patient who is waiting in their car. Automated messaging allows WGM to protect staff and patients alike and mitigate the flood of phone calls, relieving overwhelm for their front desk managers.

2. Doing business with significant decreases in foot traffic.

Austin’s Couch Potatoes is using Webchat to convert leads and keep sales high, even when customers are concerned to come in-store. Over one weekend during the crux of the pandemic, they saw a 148% increase in sales from the same weekend the year before. Webchat allows Austin’s Couch Potatoes to engage leads the moment they land on the home page and offer ultimate convenience with the option to move conversations from desktop to mobile and back again.

3. Staying connected to customers.

Heart and Paw veterinary clinic has instituted curbside pickup and contactless services and is staying connected to customers by texting photos and video updates of their pets. Using text, they are able to provide quality, multifaceted virtual experiences that help customers be a part of every step of the process and feel like they’re in the clinic with their pets and the staff of Heart and Paw.

4. Collecting payments safely and conveniently.

Collecting payments in a way that is easy and safe can seem like a complicated challenge. But The Bridal Shop is using Podium Payments to facilitate contactless payments that can be made conveniently and remotely. They simply send their client a text with a link that the client can click to pay, reducing friction and protecting their clients and staff members.

5. Staying connected to team members.

Coast Wholesale appliances is using Podium’s inbox and teamchat to maintain effective communication among its staff members, allowing the team to deliver the high quality customer service it’s known for. With all communication coming into one inbox and the platform’s collaborative capabilities, the team is able to streamline communication, prevent clients from falling through cracks, and maintain unity and cohesion.

Facing a host of unexpected challenges seems to be the watchword of our time—but with the right tools, you can bypass many of the obstacles that make or break businesses. And in effectively embracing our new “business-as-usual,” you’ll ensure that your business is one that consistently finds and converts leads, regardless of our circumstances. 

To learn more about how to thrive in our new “business-as-usual,” check out our full State of Local Business report.

Matt Boyce
Matt Boyce Head of SMB Marketing

Matt Boyce is a marketing and business professional at Podium, the premiere messaging platform that connects local businesses with their customers.

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