As more businesses begin to open their doors again amid the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s important to prepare for the new normal and show customers it’s safe to do business.
Most of the strategies your company adopted during the height of the pandemic will continue as customers will demand extra care and service.
It’s key to share sanitizing process, safety measures, and charitable efforts during this time on social media, as well as leveraging Google’s free features to showcase that your business is open, safe, and offering great specials and incentives.
To get your business ready, here are 10 things you should be doing to welcome back customers:
1. Face coverings/masks
Help your team and customers feel more comfortable during in-person visits by wearing face masks, asking your customers to wear face coverings, and providing masks for your customers who may not have one. You can even offer face masks that are branded for your business.
2. White glove services
Continue the concierge services and rigorous sanitization efforts started before the pandemic, including wiping down all surfaces, making hand sanitizer readily available, and removing any shared items from waiting rooms such as remote controls and magazines. Continue offering product pickup and delivery for sales and service to allow your customers to spend less time in your store. Some customers may still prefer this instead of coming into the business and will appreciate that safety is a priority.
Use video to communicate with customers and help them do more of their researching and shopping from home. Create videos that showcase your products, safety measures, and service orders.
4. Artificial intelligence
With possibly less staff and/or staff working remotely, AI can be used to provide 24/7 customer service. AI chatbots nurture conversations, pre-qualify buyers, and match them to vehicles in your store and on your website. It also engages with consumers interested in products you’re selling on Facebook Marketplace, as well as those that text your business.
5. Automate your lead response
People are still shopping for needed items so deliver a response that will make them want to buy from you. Include multiple options and the ability to explore your inventory. Your follow-up plan needs to be better than ever with the longer than normal buying cycle caused by COVID-19. Ensure your team is following up or automate this process so you are top-of-mind when buyers are ready to purchase.
6. Text messages
Research shows 93% of text messages are read within five minutes, but consumers only open one in five emails they receive. Text messages quickly and effectively deliver your most important updates to your customers’ mobile devices.
7. Electronic contracts
With pickup and delivery options, customers will also want to continue that online shopping experience with electronic contracts, if your business offers it. Make sure this online process is easy and streamlined so your customers have no issues when signing the contract. Keep that service going to assist all your customers, especially when they don’t want to come into your store.
8. Safe scheduling
Offering an online appointment scheduler is key to not having too many people at your business. It’s also more convenient for customers and is something that can be done through automation instead of with a team member.
9. Safe servicing
As more customers prefer pickup and delivery options, make sure you have a way to communicate service orders, such as video, and the process your team uses to ensure the cleanliness of your product from pickup to drop-off.
10. Listen to your customers
You have to be able to meet customers’ expectations now. Listen to their suggestions to see how your sales and service can continue helping them in the safest way possible. Remember to survey buyers and servicers after every visit and allow happy customers to post their feedback on public review sites. Today’s consumers truly appreciate businesses’ efforts to keep them safe.
For more ways to engage consumers shopping from home, visit