Earlier we put out part I of this dialog about dealing with reopening your business. If you are interested in starting with your team, you can read that post here.
After you have dealt with your team and done all that you can to help them know you are doing everything you can address concerns and challenges for them, you can turn your focus to your customer. There are some things that are the same no matter what your business is. There are some different challenges you will face if your business has customers that come and go frequently and share a space. We will try to break this short article into parts to address the additional steps that a business with many customers sharing space might have to address.
Like Part I, this article is meant to give you food for thought, it is not a playbook or concrete how to on opening. It is built to be something to think about on how you can demonstrate that you care about the customer and their safety.
How can any business serve there customers during the post-COVID times?
- Show how you are taking care of your team.
- Start with how you are taking care of those that keep your business running. Demonstrate that you are listening to them and care about their concerns.
- Listen! Listen! Listen!
- Same with your team, listen to your customers. Listen to what they are saying and what they are not saying. What do the numbers tell you?
- The customer is going to tell you how the situation has made you a better business or improved how your business offers services. Listen to what they appreciated about the changes you made to serve them during the tough times.
- Take Action
- Tell your customers what you are keeping in place that they appreciated.
- Tell the customer what changes you are making to services and how that works in their benefit. This can be their safety or how the changes provide them with a better product or better service.
- Be Honest
- Admit that this is a transition period for you and your business as well. You are doing the best that you can with the information that you have and will continue to adapt to best serve everyone.
- Don’t Be Afraid of Setting Boundaries
- As a business we have to be honest about the requests that we can and CANNOT accommodate. We cannot be afraid to admit that something cannot be done or a request cannot be met at this time.
- Do not compromise your safety and health (mental or physical) for a dollar. Please.
If you have a high turnover business with lots of customers coming and going to consider the following:
- How can you show you are thinking about the customer and their safety?
- I recently ate at a restaurant and one of the things they had out front was two bins for their pens. One bin was labeled “disinfected” and the other was labeled “dirty”. This told me that they were thinking of some little things.
- Focus on a new normal, not just getting back to how things were
- This is a challenge, but with any area with lots of customers sharing space, adjusting to what a new normal will be is more important than waiting for a return to how things used to be.
- Start now with figuring out how to alter service offerings when you cannot serve as many people in a day.
- What can you add?
- What can you charge a premium for?
- What can you change to make the experience unique?
- For specific guidelines for various businesses: