reopen business

Keeping your customers reassured

Keeping your customers reassured

 

For many shops and services, it’s business as usual. But some customers and clients might still be feeling uncertain about visiting premises for quite some time. The transition out of an unprecedented lockdown was always going to be tricky, but by being clear, concise and flexible, you can keep new and loyal customers reassured that their wellbeing is your priority. 

 

 

Communicate clearly...

social distancing

Communicate clearly...

Whether it’s a physical sign, social media posts or an email newsletter, make sure your customers know your plans. If your opening hours, shop layout or transaction times have changed as a result of social distancing measures, letting people know in advance will manage their expectations. To ensure customers know you’re serious about safety, find out how to make your business COVID-secure with advice from the Health and Safety Executive. And remember, it isn’t just what you say, it’s how you say it. If there was ever a time to make sure employees across your business are showing empathy, this is it. After all, making your customers and employees feel supported is key to them feeling safe. 

...and make it a two-way conversation

customer feedback

...and make it a two-way conversation

Your ability to communicate clearly is greatly helped by initiating a two-way conversation. Reach out to your customers and ask what will make them feel safer and if there’s anything you could be doing differently. Acting on feedback from your customers and clients shows you care and will garner loyalty and trust. Customers who are worried or dissatisfied and don’t have a way to contact you directly are liable to take their concerns to a public forum or platform, where you may not have a chance to respond to negative reviews, which can have a detrimental impact on a company’s reputation. They might even go to a competing business, so it’s important to keep all channels of communication open.

Plan for in-person contact...

food delivery

Plan for in-person contact...

Depending on your business, you might not be able to avoid face-to-face contact, so make sure you are prepared by finding suppliers of items such as hand sanitiser and plexiglass as this will offer reassurance to staff and customers alike. Inform customers and clients of the protocol you wish to follow before they arrive at your premises or you arrive at theirs. You could send an automated text message or call them ahead of your meeting to explain what PPE you’ll be wearing or measures you’ll be taking so that they can prepare for – and feel comfortable with – human contact. In addition, retailers can communicate their requests – for example, for customers to wear face masks – with a sign that’s clearly on display outside. If you offer a delivery service, it’s worth making sure you have a no-contact option in place – a friendly smile and wave from the foot of a driveway is preferable to dropping something off unannounced.

...and avoid it where possible

conference call

...and avoid it where possible

If you are able to, moving some or part of your product or service online is only going to make buying from you or using your services easier. From setting up an e-commerce store to offering consultations or classes online via Skype or Zoom, being as flexible as possible takes those who are unable – or unwilling – to leave their house into account and gives them options until they feel ready. And while you’ve got their attention online, you can use email, social media or delivery confirmation messages to reinforce the message about what you’re doing in-store or in person so that, in the near future, they feel ready to return to your shop or service.

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