When it comes to keeping customers informed, clear communication through easy-to-read messages is fundamental to get the message through. Using your website and online channels (e.g. newsletter, social media, etc.) to communicate these changes to your customers is often the most effective way to do it.
When developing official messages and statements for the reopening of your activity, it is very important to focus on a few but important things you might want to tell your customers. You should focus on three main points:
Think about the main changes in your business, which might affect the customer experience. How have your services changed from the reopening? Which services are now available? Which aren't? Which services have been modified/adapted? Try to put these changes at the forefront of your message as this is the key information your customers are looking for.
Encouraging good customers etiquette, with respect to the new rules in place, is fundamental to ensure the customer experience runs smooth and safe. Remind your customers about the right behaviour to adopt in your store. Alongside safety guidelines, such as wearing a mask, sanitising hands and avoiding visits if you feel unwell, try to encourage more responsible behaviour. For example, you might want to encourage customers to do solo visiting, keep social distancing and use online ordering/booking or click and collect services whenever possible.
Informing your customers about the safety measures you have put in place should not only be a duty and a matter of transparency, but it can be a great way to boost customer confidence. In fact, informing your customers on how you keep your store clean, as well as your staff and customers safe, can be extremely beneficial for your business: the more your customers will feel safe the more they will be inclined to visit.
Communicate openly how you sanitise your store and equipment, how you protect your staff with specific work shifts and PPE or how you provide clear signposting and floor-markings to create a one-way system.
Once you have developed your message, decide the channels where you want to feature it. Typically, the channels that work best are the following:
Newsletter: you can develop specific re-opening emails to be sent to your customer database in form of brief newsletters, where you summarise your new approach. To make the newsletter more user-friendly, you can use infographics to keep the messaging more focused and neat.
In this sense, a good example of a re-opening email has been developed by McDonald's.
Website updates: you can also choose to develop a dedicated section of your website to provide regular updates on the reopening. This section can show more in-depth your approach to a safe reopening and be linked to other relevant sections, such as an FAQ page or to your Re-Opening Safely Plan.
You can find a good example of an update section here.
Social channels: you can leverage your social media channels to keep customers informed and updated about your reopening plans. Social channels are cost-effective and usually have a high-reach. On social channels, try to keep your messaging concise and to the point, developing posts that are easy to read and scroll through. You can find an example of an effective social post here.
McDonald's re-opening e-mails
McDonald's website updates
The Good Luck Beerhouse social post