Communicating Your Reopening To Customers

Written by: Elizabeth Tackett, Marketing Manager
Bothell Kenmore Chamber of Commerce

As a business reopening you likely have new information that needs to be communicated to your clients and customers. This new information might include: increased health and safety measures, different products, services, or procedures, new delivery or appointment requirements, etc.

Will customer’s choose you or someone else?  Do you have their confidence?

Due to Covid-19 your clients and customers likely have an increased need to feel confident that your business is taking measures to keep them healthier and safer. A solid communication plan conveys this message, and assists consumers in choosing where they will do business.  Therefore communicating the right messaging is critical to your business’ success moving forward. It could mean the difference between someone choosing your business or someone else’s.

Use these tips and ideas to help you craft, communicate, and deliver your newly updated information to your audience.

How To Craft Your Reopening Messaging

  1.  Document your polices, procedures, and changes that you want to communicate to your customers.
  2.  Streamline this information – think Twitter and make it short and concise.
  3.  When creating written formats, use bullet point, table, or infographic styles to keep the messaging on point.
  4.  When creating a video, keep it short – 2 mins max. You can use slides or photos with narrative, an employee addressing customers, or a video of employees performing their new tasks – with a smile of course!
  5.  Where needed, create a one-sentence intro that conveys the “why” of your actions.
    Ie…  “We care about your safety and are pleased to be taking the following measures to keep you healthier.”
  6.  Tensions are understandably higher so if you need to ask them to do something be kind and polite, and offer an alternative.
    Ie… “To keep everyone safer we kindly ask that those experiencing symptoms please place your order online. We’ll deliver it to your car later.”

Notes:
Remember to show your empathy and understanding during this disconcerting time – your customers need to know you care.
Also, you may need to create different messages for different market segments. A real estate agent will likely need one message for buyers and another for sellers. And, your online customers will need different messaging from your in-store shoppers.

Where To Share

Websites

Adding your message to your website is a must. Home, Product and Appointment pages are the obvious choices, but don’t forget the less obvious such as Menus, Shipping details, About Us, and FAQs. Map your customer’s navigation and make sure all points along their paths are covered.

Several methods can be used such as:

  • Header banners inviting viewers to click through to a designated page, PDF, or video for full information.
  • Focused one-sentence messages at key points along the navigation path reminds customers of your additional efforts.  You want to keep confidence levels high throughout their visit and the sales process.
    Ie… Inform buyers on product and shipping pages that your employees wear protective equipment while handling and packaging their products.

Tip:  Increase links to your Contact Us page in case customers have additional questions.

Social Media & Other Online Identities

  • Share your message on all your social media channels
  • Share in industry and community groups
  • Post at regular intervals and update your message as needed.
  • Consider paying to boost your post or place an ad
  • Remember your review and referral sites, online ordering apps and stores, and other online identities.

Ask Your Customers To Share Your Messaging

Word-of-mouth is an important marketing tool so enlist your customer’s help in getting the word out about your reopening. Encourage customers to…

  • Share their positive experiences with your business
  • Check-in to your location on social media
  • Post photos/videos of the products they purchase
  • Leave positive reviews

Email Marketing, Text Messaging and Chats

  • Inform everyone on your email and SMS lists with a designated message.
  • Add messaging to future newletters/emails in the form of headers or footnotes inviting readers to click through to your designated page or video to learn more about your new policies or changes.
  • Remember your auto-responders! Update your contact us, order, messenger, and subscriber auto-responses.

Additional Customer Contact Points

Any place that your company comes into contact with a customer is an opportunity to remind them of your changes and increased efforts. Here are some additional places to add your message:

  • Appointment reminders and thank you notes
  • Signs on reception desks, and in waiting, dressing and treatment rooms
  • Point of entry and street signs
  • Shipping documents including packing slips and receipts
  • Telephone recordings
  • In-store announcements for large public businesses
  • Email signatures
  • Advertisements
  • Press Releases
  • As a guest speaker on a blog or show

Train All Customer Service Employees

Inform your customer-contact employees of any new methods, procedures, changes, etc. to build and maintain customer confidence, and to be able to respond to inquiries as needed.

  • Have employees verbally explain and physically show clients the changes as necessary. Lee Perry of Arena Sports Mill Creek, WA reminds us to “Give your customers a few extra minutes of attention – they will appreciate it. Show them where the hand sanitizers are stationed and tell them when they arrive what your company is doing for them.”
  • Consider preparing scripts or FAQ reference sheets for employees to keep on hand.

In closing…

Remember that the confidence level that your clients and customers have in your business will help determine your success moving forward. The above is not a complete list of ideas but will hopefully get your own ideas flowing and help you reopen with success.

If you have questions, please feel free to reach out to the Chamber. We’re here to support you.

~ Bothell Kenmore Chamber of Commerce

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