WE ARE OPEN, NOW WHAT?
The anticipation around re-open seemed like a huge deal. For some it was but for many businesses the first week may have brought in some loyal customers that missed you but weeks 2 and 3 may have just had customers trickling in.
Discouraging is the understatement! These times have brought very conflicted views – should we open, can we schedule classes, how do we handle social distancing, ect.
FIRST THING IS FIRST – it is IMPERATIVE your store has a great customer experience. Your customers should feel as if you are keeping them safe but refrain from displaying horrifying signs and big red X reminding them that maybe they shouldn’t be there. Focus on creating a customer experience that is welcoming.
Make sure hand sanitizer is available for them when they enter, consider having your staff wearing masks when customers are in the store, but overall focus on creating the best customer experience. Instead of red X tape, add circles with smiley faces, a kind words, ect. Uprinting.com (floor stockers 12’ x 12’ $11.69 – custom artwork) X's have a negative message. Everyone knows what the circles mean (you doesn’t need a message like 6 ft away) we have been watching countless hours of news on social distancing, we all know the drill.
SECOND – make your customer feel comfortable and free of pressure. Being closed has cause financial strain on very business in the US. There are approximately 32 million small businesses and nearly all (a few exceptions) have experienced a drop in sales 30%- 80% plus. The SBA loans have helped but let's face it, its’ like putting a bandage on a gushing wound. So, its up to us to make sure our businesses succeed. Some days we feel great about the outlook for the future, other days we think its dooms day. Depending on the day your customers arrive, we may convey different types of reactions. Be aware, and because there is uncertainty its our job to instill excitement into our customers. Give your customers something to look forward too. Depression is at an all-time high and we need to customers feel good in our store and they will want to come back.
KEY THINGS TO REMEMBER:
Give your customers something to look forward to – diving, dive trips, get people excited
No matter how bad it is – put on a smiling face a warm hello
Don’t pressure them. See the following post a person put on facebook about being pressured at their local dive shop.
There are a lot of conflicting views – stay neutral to your customers
If you provide a customer experience that makes them forget about the pandemic, the riots, the murder hornets and what ever the news focuses on next. Give your customers some laughter, fun and something to look forward too. They will be back and they will want to spend their money with you.
P.S. Make sure you show appreciation that they are spending their money with you. Many people have less money then previously so if they choose to spend their hard earned money with you make sure they know how much you appreciate it!