In April, Blythe Haney, Product and Content Manager at Microfiber Wholesale, sat down via Zoom with Crystal Hamm, President of Go 2 Girls, to discuss ways to keep revenue coming in during the nationwide COVID-19 shutdown. Crystal has been successful in implementing several different ideas she came up with and we’re very excited to be able to share those with you! View the video here or review the abbreviated transcript below.
Microfiber Wholesale: Thank you for joining us. Let’s jump in feet first here. What percentage of your revenue have you lost because of this [shutdown]
Go 2 Girls: It’s been difficult, we’re currently down about 65% in weekly revenue.
MW: What are some of the ideas and what you’ve already put in place to help recoup that loss?
G2G: We were extremely grateful for the announcement of the affiliate program and immediately took action to join that. I crafted a letter to send out to all of our contacts and clients through email and explained that we miss you and understand that you may not feel comfortable having us in your home at this time and these are the amazing products that we use and I listed our favorites. I also changed our social media and redirected some of the focus there. I ran disinfectant specials through google, Facebook and our email blasts, letting clients know that we were open and would be upgrading all of our services to disinfect the touchpoints throughout their home. Our clients seemed to really like that. We did separate disinfectant specials so we could come in and clean just those touch points in the clients just wanted to do a one off cleaning or add that into their rotation for maintenance cleaning. We also shifted our marketing to move-in or move-out cleaning which was better received from a social media standpoint
MW: Is the move-in or move-out cleaning something that you were already doing or is that something that is a new business structure for you?
G2G: Fortunately for us, that was already in our scope of work. It’s something that my girls know how to do on a regular basis. With as hectic as things have been our clients maybe haven’t had the time to do the cleaning that they’d normally do themselves but also ensure that their appliances are disinfected and the inside of the cabinets are disinfected. So that worked well for us.
MW: You spoke about touch points. What are some of the specific touch points that you’re focusing on and telling your customers about?
G2G: We’ve upgraded that. The touch points were not something that we were doing during our normal maintenance cleans. It is at this point. This would include all the areas that our clients are touching more often than not: all the door handles, cabinet and drawer pulls, light switches, bannisters, fixtures in the kitchens, bathrooms, any flat surface in high traffic areas
MW: Another thing we talked about was your social media and spreading positive messages.
G2G: I think it’s important all the time, not just now, to spread a positive message. There’s so much negativity in the world and we want to be that bright light for our clients. I’ve used our marketing software to create videos that have absolutely nothing to do with cleaning, like a mother helping her child with homework, then doing laundry, then doing work on her computer. That’s just our world right now; just a video that’s really about empathizing with our current climate…I post things that are funny too; people do go to social media to be entertained.
MW: You’ve been really successful in the Microfiber Wholesale affiliate program and it was really exciting for us to hear back such positive feedback from you and then to see you be so successful with it. Will you share with us things that you did to spread the word and get your clients to look at the products and buy them.
G2G: I think it’s easy when you absolutely love the products. For me it’s not selling or pushing. I truly believe in the value and love the products. The first step that I did was use the links that are provided on the sign in for the program. There’s one that’s specifically designed for email so I took that link and crafted an email and these are the specific products we use every time we’re in your home, knowing that would bring a comfort level to them simply in knowing that this is what their cleaner uses. I recommended the Buff Microfiber, the glass cloths, the flat mops (our clients already loved the mops and we’ve purchased them for clients to keep before), and the high reach duster system. We made it really easy – click this link – and embedded that into the email and sent it our to our clients. I also posted it on social media: google, our facebook page, anywhere that our clients could see it and click and order. And we’ve had orders come in.
MW: The last thing I’d like to discuss is the steps that you are taking in your own business to prepare for when the orders are lifted.
G2G: As the leader of my company, it’s important to keep it positive with my team just like we talked about keeping positive for our clients. For me, that means reaching out to everyone very regularly. We have a private employee website where I can post updates for everyone several times a week and I also reach out to everyone personally. So they’ve had constant communication with me. As difficult as it has been scaling down, it’s going to be more difficult scaling back up. The reason is we may go from being 65% down to being 35% down and figuring out how to bring employees back as we need them to ensure they are getting the work that they need and then balancing that in reality with their unemployment benefits. As an employer I would never want to bring someone back and not be able to ensure that they’re getting the financial support that they need. I think that we need to gradually scale back up. Then communication with our clients is extremely important letting them know, “we understand that you’ve skipped your maintenance cleaning the last two months but we need you to be patient with us as we bring our team back up and get fully staffed.” I think the reality for us and most companies is that we have an amazing culture and an amazing staff but not everyone will come back. So having the mentality and preparing for that, we eventually will start preparing job postings and ramping up to start hiring again. I hop that by summer, we’re business as usual with obviously new procedures and new safety protocols in place which we’ve already implemented in our company. Right now if I were to give advice to anybody it would be that you need to touch base with your employees, see who is coming back and if they’re not, then you need to start hiring.