Retailer Resources: Tips to Help Your Business Respond & Recover During COVID-19
ICYMI: These are “unprecedented times.” There’s no doubt that your inbox has been bombarded with messages from every company that you’ve ever given your email to, letting you know that we’re all in this together. And while this inundation of communication may seem insincere due to the sheer volume of messages, it is true—we are in this together. Every one of your employees and customers has been uniquely and profoundly impacted by COVID-19.
As the response to recovery transition begins, it’s important that you’re up for the challenge of adapting to ensure that both your employees and customers feel comfortable and confident doing business again. We’ve rounded up some tips, tools and processes that you can put in place to open your doors, and your perspective, to the “new normal.”
First and foremost, people will want to know that health and safety have been placed as the number one priority. Before you welcome anyone back to your location, you’ll be expected to have established new processes for respiratory etiquette, hand washing, sanitizing and social distancing. It’s also important to recognize that your employees will be operating at their own personal comfort levels—while some will be eagerly awaiting the all-clear to return to work, others may be more hesitant to stray too far from the comfort of their homes. Have a plan in place to accommodate high levels of absenteeism and review your sick policies to allow for flexibility.
Transparent communication to staff and customers will be essential to your ongoing success in the “new normal.” Your staff needs to be updated on the new policies and procedures specific to your location, as well as common-sense recommendations for ongoing health and safety. You’ll want to maintain a consistent cadence of communication and always allow room for feedback, considering there’s no pre-written playbook of best practices for what we’re all experiencing right now. With every update you send, remember to approach the communication with compassion, keeping in mind the unique impact the pandemic has had on each of your employees.
Send a message to your customers letting them know what preventative measures and changes they can expect to see upon their next visit to your store. They will want to know details such as how you’re enforcing social distancing, how the store is being sanitized and where they can access personal protective equipment during their visit. Similar to your employees, your customers may still feel more comfortable interacting with you at a distance, so make sure you offer alternatives such as private appointments or virtual appointments, and optimize your e-commerce platforms to allow them to shop from home.
Expect the “new normal” to be exactly that—a different kind of reality than what you’re used to. We are fortunate to have a variety of tools and technologies at our disposal to support our adaptation to this unfamiliar territory. Here are a few that you can start to use today:
Canva – Create beautiful, branded designs to use across your marketing and communication efforts
Hootsuite – Manage your social media and communicate updates consistently across all platforms
MailChimp – All-in-one integrated marketing platform, especially helpful for organizing and communicating with your email lists
Slack – A communication software that can essentially replace your team’s internal email exchanges
Calendly – Free appointment scheduling software that will sync with your calendar
Zoom – The current leader in video conferencing, also a great tool for webinars
Google Meet – Google’s answer to Zoom that provides real-time meetings and allows you to share your video, desktop and presentations with employees or customers
Rest assured that we’re thinking out of the box at the Uneek headquarters too. Our marketing teams are in the process of creating virtual giveaways, trunk shows and sales consultations, so that we can continue to be the best partner to you, remotely.
This unexpected season of our lives has impacted us all differently, including our businesses. As we start searching for that light at the end of the tunnel, from the bottom of our hearts, your Uneek family is with you the whole way. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to your sales representative if you have questions or need support navigating the response to recovery efforts.