How Retail and Service Businesses Can Effectively Communicate to Customers During Covid-19
Covid-19 has thrown many businesses for a loop. I drive by local gift shops, restaurants, retail stores, and more every day that are closed for business. It’s a difficult time for anyone involved in face-to-face retail selling and personal services. Many businesses have shuttered and are unable to make a living at this time. Special holidays like Easter and Mother’s Day have been essentially cancelled due to closures. Effective communication with customers is key to a successful re-opening of businesses throughout the Covid-19 crisis.
This equals a large loss of business for retail and service businesses such as florists, salons, massage services and others. We understand your situation and are here to help you make the best of difficult times.
Now is a good time to re-evaluate your business and see if there are ways to bring your business online with an attractive up-to-date website. Shopify and other storefront web applications make it easier to launch a great website and be able to sell online. Offering No Contact delivery is another way to keep your business going.
However, along with setting up a website for retail selling, it is important to revamp your operations to handle online orders efficiently.
- Procedures need to be created for handling online orders. Shipping materials need to be purchased at a price that doesn’t highly impact your cost of goods.
- Pricing needs to be negotiated with shippers such as UPS or Fedex unless you are working with a web application that does that for you.
- Signs are important to let your customers know you offer online purchasing when they drive by your storefront.
- Clear and concise signs help customers understand where to go and how to proceed with a curbside pickup.
- Advertising signs let customers know what product specials you are having online or for curbside pickup.
- Signs can let customers know if delivery service is available.
- Personal service providers such as Florists can offer No Contact curbside pickup of floral arrangements or let people know if they offer No Contact delivery service.
What can retail businesses, restaurants and personal services do to continue their business operations?
Retail stores, restaurants, and personal services will come back in the near future. Operations may change while we deal with the Cornona Virus. For hair salons, nail salons and other personal services, rules need to be established and explained to clients. Signs are a great way to be sure everyone understands what they are required to do.
- Posting an attractive sign in your window or on your sidewalk that explains procedures is a great way to make sure there is communication with your clients.
- Paper signs in the window are hard to read and unattractive. Professionally made signs allow you to maintain the look and feel of your salon and give clients the feeling you are still in business and proceeding professionally.
- A professionally made sign invokes a comfort factor that you are following CDC and other guidelines for the client’s and your safety.
- An attractive sign lets customers know you are offering Gift Certificates for holidays such as Mother’s Day.
- Sending out a postcard to your best clients letting them know you will be there for them, how to make an appointment and the safety precautions your business is taking to ensure their health and welfare.
- How about a sign letting your salon clients know you can provide them a hair dye kit and instructions!
This is true also for retail stores, grocery stores, gas stations, convenience stores and others. It is imperative at this time that you let your customers know you care about their health and safety.
- Providing hand sanitizing stations at the entrance/exits.
- Keeping your store immaculate and sanitized.
- Posting signage about wearing mask and requiring employees to wear masks all shows that your following guidelines and looking out for your customers.
- Post helpful guidelines about sanitizing your hands after using a gas pump, credit card, or door handle helps your customers remember to follow the guidelines.
- Let your customers know about shortened hours, number of customers allowed in the store, limited supply products you have on hand, etc.. Keeping the communication lines open can attract more business and new loyal customers.
Local farm stands have a great opportunity to increase their sales with attractive signs that let customers know about the fresh and local products you carry. With eggs costing $4.00/dozen in our area, I would love to visit a local farm for Fresh Eggs at hopefully a better price. You have to let people know what you are carrying and that you are open.
How Big Box Retailers and Grocers Can Do a Better Job Protecting Customers During Covid-19
For Big Box Retailers and grocery stores, now is the time to help your customer.
- Let them know whether they can enter the store and how many people you are allowing in the store.
- Communicate to the customers that you are taking all health and safety precautions to ease their minds and increase their willingness to come in.
- Post signs reminding them to wash their hands and wear masks.
- Offer sanitizer stations at the doorways to allow them to clean their hands when they enter and leave.
- Post signs throughout the store asking customers not to pick up and put down items unless they are buying them to reduce the spread of the virus.
- Let them know your reduced hours during this event.
- Clear and bold signage is a MUST to let customers know about One Way Isles and spacing. I’ve seen too many people not following these rules in the grocery store and Walmart. Effective Eye Level signage is a MUST.
- Post a sign at the exit thanking them for being a customer’s. A little thanks goes a long way to build customer relations.
At Express Sign & Graphics, we have the products you need to communicate your message to your customers and clients. Some helpful products include;
What Types of Signs Can You Use to Help Communicate to Clients During Covid-19
Banners, A-Frame Signs, Banner Stands, Decals, Corrugated Signs, Hand Sanitizer Stations, Window Signs, Postcards, Brochures, Protective Shields for Cash Registers, Freestanding Sign Holders and Signs, Hanging Signs
We offer custom designs to help keep you looking professional. Our staff is working and ready to help you. Call us at 978-250-9890 or send us an email at email@example.com. We look forward to helping you get through these trying times and maintain your business operations.
Ann Durso, CEO of Express Sign & Graphics, Inc. has been working in the sign industry since 2000. Her experience includes all facets of sign design, manufacturing and installation. In addition, Ann previously owned Advanced Accounting & Administrative Solutions which provided small business owners with assistance in all areas of their business including; accounting, administration, marketing and organization.[/author_info] [/author]