Many parts of the country are beginning to see a glimpse of the light at the end of the tunnel.
States are beginning to slowly lift restrictions.
Select businesses are being permitted to reopen if they follow social distancing and additional safety measures.
This means customers are going to be able to venture out to more than the grocery store and hardware store.
Even though we all know COVID-19 is not gone, things are starting to look brighter.
The truth is, things are not going to instantly return to normal.
Businesses will have to change the way they conduct business. Storefronts will have to limit the number of people inside their store possibly leading to lineups outside the store of people waiting their turn to enter.
Restaurants will have to decrease the number of tables in their dining rooms to provide ample space for social distancing. How the server will top off the water glasses is still a mystery.
Businesses providing onsite service to customers will have to be prepared with their own protective equipment and customers will have to abide by their rules for entry.
Businesses can reopen-but how will customers react?
We are all eager to break free from quarantine and do the things forbidden over the past couple of weeks. But even with all these safety precautions in place, most people are not going to embark on a gluttonous consumption spree the moment restrictions are lifted.
They are going to be cautious. They are going to be careful. They are going to ease back into whatever the new normal looks like.
Getting customers back to your business is going to depend on how comfortable they are doing business with you.
You need to put their fears at bay.
Show Customers How You Are Keeping Them Safe
It’s natural for people to gravitate toward the path of least resistance. During times like these, they are going to find the safest option to fulfill their need or problem.
Don’t think your customers will assume or simply know that since you are open you have safety measures in place.
You have to communicate these safety measures to them.
This should be something beyond a blanket statement like "We value the safety of our customers and staff and abide the rules of the CDC...".
Sure, you can make mention of that, but you need to tell them specifically how you are taking measures to keep them safe when they visit your store or you meet with them at their location.
Examples of the steps you might be taking include:
- All employees are required to have their temperature taken and pass screening questions prior to the start of each shift.
- All visitors in our store must wear a mask at all times.
- Only 15 people are allowed to be inside the store at any given time. This includes staff and customers. When capacity is reached, a line will form outside our main entrance where people must maintain a minimum distance of 6 feet from one another.
The national pizza chains took the lead on this. Some of them created detailed methods for contactless delivery and pickup at their locations.
Dominos does a great job of showcasing this on their website using visuals. They show the exact steps on how you will go through the entire buying cycle with them.
This is not something limited to big national chains.
Many of your customers cannot wait to support your local business. They realize you need their help more than ever right now. Don’t let these national chains win their business because they appear to the safer path of least resistance.
3 Simple Steps To Communicate Your Safety Measures
When it's time for your business to reopen, follow these 3 simple steps to let your customers know they can safely resume doing business with you:
Outline Your Safety Steps on Your Website
Create a new page on your website that outlines (in detail) the steps your business is taking to ensure the safety of your customers and staff.
Be as thorough as possible.
Note any changes in your normal hours of operation.
Tell customers what to expect when they arrive at your location so there are no surprises when they get there.
Make it really easy to find this information on your website. Placing a notification with an accompanying link near the top of your homepage is a great place to give all your website visitors access to this information.
Email Your CRM Contacts
Don't wait for your customers to call you or visit your website. Be proactive and send an email out to the customers in your CRM.There is no harm in outlining all your safety measures in the email. The idea is to get this information out so people (1) know that you've reopened and (2) understand what to expect when they visit your location or you meet with them at their location.
Get the Word Out on Social Media
Communicate your message to your social media audiences.
Post updates on your social media platforms to let everyone know you've reopened and include a link to the page on your website outlining your safety measures.
People might submit comments or questions directly to your social media post or send you direct messages through the social media platform. Do your best to respond to each inquiry quickly and answer their questions. Show that you are being proactive by communicating your efforts to providing a safe environment to conduct business.
Everyone is facing the same challenges. Businesses are searching for ways to safely reopen and begin the journey toward resuming normal business operations. Customers are searching for ways to emerge from their homes and find safe businesses to work with to solve the problems and satisfy their needs.
Clearly communicate your process so your customers can safely return to doing business with you.
Do you have a unique way you are communicating your reopen process to your customers? Let us know in the comments below.