Whether your business may be ready to reopen or you’re simply planning for a future opening, it may be tough to know where to start.
You can’t get back to business as usual without considering everything that has changed first. How can you encourage customers to revisit your location? What steps can you take to ensure customer safety?
The answers will help you begin rebuilding.
Here are a few of our suggestions.
1. Do a final deep clean
To keep customers who will return to your business protected, remember to do a deep clean before opening your doors.
Make sure customers know that you are taking this precaution so their hesitation to reenter your business is minimized. Post photos of your business being cleaned on social media platforms like Instagram or share the deep cleaning steps you are following on other outlets like Google or in emails to make customers aware of your commitment to safety.
This is a relatively obvious and straightforward tip, but it may be something you overlook in the chaos that comes with reopening your business. So, make sure to follow this step before you open your doors!
2. Prepare your customer service outlets
Get ready for the questions to roll in!
Make sure you’re prepared to answer calls, emails and more before your business gets back up and running.
Whether you use the new chatbot technology we mentioned in this blog, or simply have more employees focusing on email responses, be ready for any and every question by having the right customer service resources in place.
It is also important to be understanding and aware of the many concerns and needs of customers at this time.
Prepare yourself and your employees to be timely, responsive and constructive with customers as there is still a lot that is unknown as businesses begin to reopen.
3. Update your Google listing
Your hours and availability may be constantly changing at this time. Once you make the decision to reopen, your new hours and information should be easily accessible to your customers or clients.
Don’t limit these updates to just Google. Your Facebook page, Yelp page, and many others also have the capability and reach to keep your customers informed.
Read these blogs for more on optimizing your Facebook and LinkedIn pages with new information.
If you're a RevLocal client, your strategist can be an essential part of your reopening process!
By keeping your strategist in the loop on your changing hours and available services, they will be able to update your Google listing and other touchpoints for your business in order for customers to have the latest information.
Need some help with your online presence? Click here to request a demo to start working with our team!
4. Create cleaning and safety protocol
The business world will never be the same.
With all the changes that have come with the way businesses will operate going forward, one of the most essential is maintaining a clean and safe environment for customers to shop and employees to work.
As a way to ease back into reopening your business and keeping customers comfortable, consider continuing some of the precautions you were taking while your business was closed or running limited services.
For example, have your employees wear masks and gloves while at work to ensure their safety as well as your customers’.
Also, make a routine of the cleaning processes you used during your temporary closure by maintaining daily cleaning requirements for yourself and your employees to conduct.
Even continue the deep cleaning we mentioned earlier by scheduling them for every few days or once every week. It may be time-consuming, but as small businesses navigate the concerns and obstacles of reopening, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
We want to also remind you to pay attention to your state and local government guidelines, as they will be a factor in your businesses protocols.
5. Give customers advanced notice
Keep customers in the loop!
So, you’ve already gone through the process of updating your Google listing and posting your cleaning processes on your website and social media, but what else can you do to make sure your customers are up-to-date on your business?
For many businesses such as hair salons, lawn and landscaping services and pet grooming, scheduling appointments is a necessary process to keep their business running smoothly.
When it comes to businesses that require this additional step in getting customers, try to offer appointment times or booking for your services a week or so in advance to your opening.
Let your returning customers know through your website, social media, email or even give them a call! This will give you, as a business owner, the time and preparation needed for your reopening to go off without a hitch!
Tip: Remember, some customers need time to ease back into regular shopping, coming in for services, etc. Give them the time they need, keep them updated and follow the previous steps to give them security in coming back to your business.
6. Don’t abandon your remote services
As we mentioned before, a lot of your customers will not be ready to reenter your business the moment it reopens, but you will want to continue to provide to their needs and maintain their business!
The changes that businesses have experienced due to COVID-19 are not temporary, they have changed how businesses run and communicate forever, so don’t leave behind these new methods of reaching customers because you will fall behind with the times.
To meet these new demands, continue offering some of the services you utilized while your business was closed.
Whether you offered curbside pickup, e-commerce sales or online consultations (just to name a few), they will still be beneficial for your business with many people choosing to continue their social distancing practices or simply expecting new conveniences from businesses in the wake of this outbreak.
It is a big step for both businesses and customers to begin interacting once again.
As a local, small business with strong connections to your community, you understand the struggles everyone around you is facing and are looking to resolve them when your business decides to reopen.
By following these tips, you will have the guidance needed to encourage and cater to the needs of your customers and have a successful reopening! Remember the importance of communicating any and every business update that comes at this time to your strategist.
Running your business from home for now? Check out this blog to learn more about engaging your employees while you’re away.