With COVID-19 going on for over a year now, it has had a profound impact on businesses all around the world.
Thanks for the vaccine and health care workers, the time to reopen your businesses may be soon.
But the question as to how to effectively communicate with your customers and tell them your business is open still remains.
Preparing for your business to open
Before you open your business, you need to follow CDC protocol and make sure it is safe to open your business: Make sure your business is clean, practice social distancing, advise employees and customers to wear masks, provide the hand sanitizer, etc. After all, your customers need to feel safe to visit your business.
Even if business is open, it’s still unknown as to how long this pandemic will last. As a business owner, you should train your employees on the CDC protocol and encourage everyone to follow the protocols. The typical protocols are:
- Asking employees and customers to wear masks
- Social distancing 6 feet apart with a sign indicating this
- Limiting the number of people allowed in the store at one time
- Requiring employees and customers to use hand sanitizers and/or wear gloves
- Limiting physical contact such as avoiding cash
- Taking temperatures for employees and customers using an infrared temperature sensor
There are multiple ways to get customers back.
- Have a sign indicating your business is open on your door front. The sign saying you are open should be prominent and catch people’s attention. This may attract foot traffic if you are in a shopping plaza.
- Update your web site.
- You need to update your website and display your new business hours. You should display the safety protocol clearly in your website.
- Have a live chat widget, such as SMS chat widget. This way, you can get a customer’ mobile number, and can notify them that your business is open.
- Update your Google My Business and Facebook listing.
- If you have an online presence, make sure to update the information and say that you are open for business.
- Send emails to customers
- You can send emails to your customers and welcome them back. Email has a low open rate issue.
- Send texts to customers
- This is the most effective way to get your customers back to your store. Research shows that SMS open rates are as high as 98%, comparing that to just 20% of all emails. To add to this, it takes on average around 90 seconds for someone to respond to a text and 90 minutes to respond to an email.
- You can use a keyword feature so that anyone that texts your business office number the keyword can get a discount or offer. An example of a keyword could be “open”.
- Use contactless technology
- You can have contactless payment such as text to pay.
- Automated appointment system. The appointment system can track and limit how many customers are in the store. Some systems can automatically send a SMS auto reminder.
- Have a video chat. Use video chat to conduct business in order to eliminate physical presence.
- Customer services
- When your staff answers questions, they can let their customers know that business is open.
If your customers see your effort to keep your business safe, they will come back more often. If you provide a good service, you can ask them to write a review in social media, which in turn can drive more businesses.