As the government is planning to set timelines to lift the shelter-in-place orders, businesses should plan on running businesses in the new normal.
It looks like the COVID-19 virus is not going away soon. Recently Dr. Mike Ryan, executive director of the WHO’s health emergency program said, “This virus just may become another endemic virus in our communities and this virus may never go away. HIV hasn’t gone away. I’m not comparing the two diseases but I think it is important that we’re realistic. I don’t think anyone can predict when or if this disease will disappear.“
So as a business owner, you need to make a few changes for your business. I have put together a list of things you can implement for better customer experience in the post COVID business era.
The first thing to take care of is Safety. The safety of customers and your employees.
Safety measures for better customer experience:
It is critical to managing the unexpected concerns of your customers and employees. You need to figure out a way to operate the business without jeopardizing the customers’ and employees’ confidence (also public health, obviously). Invest in proper hand sanitizing solutions and cleaning supplies. This investment will boost up the confidence of the customers by making them feel safe at your place and help you bring them back. If your place looks risky, they never going to come back! So, buy at least 60% alcohol-based sanitizers, place them across your business space, and make them freely available.
Another main thing to plan is social distancing. Analyze your business floor-plan to notice clustering spots and build a plan to accommodate social distancing measures. Restaurants/coffee owners should also look into reducing a few tables, based on the old customer seating patterns. If there are any procedures involving unnecessary human interactions, try to avoid them (streamline the process). By taking care of these basic procedures, you can make your customers, as well as employees, feel safe, which will also boost the customer experience.
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Pro tip: Ask your initial customers how they are feeling about the new setup and collect feedback/suggestions on how it affects their confidence.
Notify your old and loyal customers:
Once you plan to reopen your business, notify your old customers. By doing this, You can get the initial business and the boost. If you have an email list of your customers, send an email to all of them. If you have no email list, it’s ok now is the time to leverage your business social media. If you have no online communication mediums to communicate, make sure to put signage in front of your outlet which should be eye-catching from a distance.
E-commerce & Digital Marketing:
If your business doesn’t have a website and marketing channels, now you should start building them. It took 8 years to achieve 15% retails sales using online sales mediums/ e-commerce, but it just took 10 weeks to increase eCommerce by 10% making the total e-commerce retails sale accounting for 25%, thanks to coronavirus. So, it is the best time to build an e-commerce site for your business.
Cut down the unnecessary costs:
I know how SMB owners are struggling with crises. This is the time to go through your balance sheets, Profit, and loss statements to analyze what is necessary and what is not.
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Finally, I want you to plan your business in a way you can take all the unpredicted challenges in the future. Best of luck in re-opening business!