This article originally published on GoDaddy’s OpenWeStand.org website.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused worldwide shutdowns of all types of businesses. But, as parts of the country are starting to relax their guidelines, it’s time to think about what’s next for your small business.
Reopening is no small feat. You not only need to establish new operational policies and get your employees on board, but you need to communicate with new and loyal customers about your reopening.
Below you’ll learn how you can effectively communicate your reopening, even while most people are still in quarantine at home.
Communication principles to keep in mind
Just because your business is reopening, your customers may still be wary about being in an enclosed space with other customers. The businesses that thrive will be the ones who are adaptable, flexible and understanding to their customers needs.
Be transparent about the current reality
Being honest and transparent about the current reality your business is facing is a must. Now, more than ever, we all need support, and your local business is no different.
Tell your story of how COVID-19 has affected your business. Share what strategies you’re implementing to adjust. Communicate what you’re doing to support your employees.
Establish and communicate your safety protocols
One of the primary concerns for your customers is what you’ll do to address current safety regulations. How will you keep them safe and healthy?
For example, are you taking bookings online and will only have 5 people maximum in your store at once? Are you requiring employees and customers to wear masks and gloves? Are you spacing out your store and offering limited inventory?
Before you start putting the word out you want to think about your customer’s biggest fears and how you’ll address these.
Digital strategies to communicate your reopening
The more channels you can utilize to communicate your reopening the better. This will help to spread the news as wide as possible while ensuring everyone understands your new guidelines.
1. Communicate wide with social media and email
You’ll want to cast a wide net as possible when reaching out to your customers.
If you have an email list, then you’ll want to send out a broadcast that details the steps of your reopening and how you’ll keep customers safe.
For example, if you’re a restaurant you’ll want to include if you have patio seating, how you’ll keep social distancing principles, the safety protocols you’re implementing for staff, and more.
The same goes for social media, if you’re active on Facebook and Instagram, you can create a series of posts that focus on the same thing.
You can also include images of your place of business to reinforce your message, for example, if you’re a hair salon, you can show your staff cutting hair while wearing masks. Or, restaurants can show their tables spaced six feet apart.
2. Create a website FAQ page detailing COVID-19 response
Think of your website as a hub of information, if your customers want to learn more about your response, they can do so here.
It can be helpful to create an FAQ page, make sure to answer questions like:
- What opening strategy are you following? Are the hours affected?
- Are you limiting the number of patrons in your store?
- How are you implementing state and local guidelines?
- How are you keeping your employees safe and healthy?
- How will you ensure the health of customers? Now and moving forward?
3. Update business listing profiles to reflect the latest information
One of the first things people will see when looking up your business is your business profile, most likely a Google Business Listing.
There are several ways you can update this profile to provide relevant information to your customers, for example:
- Your adjusted hours of operation
- Any delays you might be experiencing
- If your business is temporarily closed
- If you’re serving the local community in any other way
Overall, your goal is to maintain customer and employee safety, while ensuring your customers feel confident visiting your business once more. Hopefully, the communication tips above have been helpful in creating an action plan for your business to get the word out that you’re open again.
Check out OpenWeStand’s Resources page for more articles, advice, and strategies small businesses can use to get through these tough times.