The coronavirus pandemic time is a difficult one for everyone: families can’t reunite for important occasions, friends aren’t able to hang out in larger groups, and, in some cases, people can’t travel to visit their significant others, putting a strain on their relationships. There is, however, one group of people that got disproportionately affected by the COVID-19 pandemic – business owners.
Hundreds, if not thousands of mom-and-pop shops and other small businesses were forced to close their doors to customers. The past year has been especially disastrous for restaurants and businesses located at shopping malls. Depending on the region, most stores that were not deemed “essential” (which is basically any shop that does not sell groceries or alcohol), have been forced to shut down for extended periods of time.
If you’re one of the lucky owners who were allowed to reopen their establishment in the midst of the pandemic, you’re now facing the challenge of handling the reopening procedure. Experts in the area of customer communication from getweave.com are adamant about the importance of properly communicating to people that you’re back to “business as usual.” If you mishandle it, you might struggle to make money even weeks after getting back to work.
There are many things you need to take care of and communicate to your customers to safely reopen. If you’re looking for tips, then you’re in the right place. This article will help you get a grip on the basics of reopening in no time!
Prepare Your Establishment
Before you even start using all of your available channels to communicate to people that you’re opening back up, you’re going to need to make sure that your employees and customers will feel safe in your establishment. Regardless of whether it is a store, restaurant, or gallery, you need to adhere to the new social distancing regulations, as well as enforce mask-wearing and hand-sanitizing rules. Once you get all of that out of the way (including training your staff on how to assist customers without violating the new rules), you’ll be ready to start devising your reopening plans.
Utilize Social Media
The majority of people spend most of their time online. This was the case even before the coronavirus pandemic, but the outbreak of COVID-19 has elevated this trend to new heights. This is why it’s absolutely important to take advantage of your social media channels as the primary means of letting people know that you’re ready to welcome them to your establishment.
The success of your social media campaign is also somewhat dependent on how well your marketing department has operated during the lockdown. If you have not maintained proper communication with customers while you were closed, your reach may have significantly decreased, and new information would not get to people who would otherwise have jumped at the opportunity to revisit your premises.
Update Your Website
Social media is not everything. If you want your customers to know about your safety protocols and reopening plan, you need to let them know via your website. You should update it so that it contains all of the relevant information regarding your products and services and how you operate in the post-COVID reality. A great way to do so in a swift and orderly manner is to create an entire new subpage titled “COVID-19” or “New Rules” and place your message there. This section should answer any questions that customers may have and reassure them that you are respecting all of the new health and safety standards.
Promotions and Other Sweet Deals
Once the digital side of your operations is taken care of, you should now move on to on-site matters that could attract people and convince them that your establishment is not only safe but a great place to find deals they won’t be able to find anywhere else. Consider implementing significant discounts and 2-for-1 offers for some of your products during the first couple of weeks after reopening. It’s a sure way to increase clients’ interest in your business and help you get back on track.
Consistently Remind People that You’re Open
Putting out the information about your reopening once won’t do you much good. After all, not every potential customer will be able to see the post on the exact day that you’ve published it, and chances that they will visit your profile to check for updates are rather slim. That is why you should run a consistent online campaign letting old and new customers know that you’re open for business. Remember to stay in touch with people even after everything gets back to normal — your social media reach will be much better off!
The Bottom Line
Many people don’t realize how much effort and stress goes into being a small business owner. All of these emotions and exhaustion can double during times like this when most establishments are forced to close down and make significant cuts just to stay afloat. 2020 was not a good year for businesses, and if you are one of the lucky few who were allowed to reopen recently, be sure to communicate this good news to your customers in an effective and orderly manner. They will likely have many questions about your store. After all, they need to know whether you’re able to keep them safe and sound.