This article includes:
- Prepping customers for their first visit back with text, email, and social media
- How new health and safety policies help anxious customers relax
- Physical changes you can make that allow customers to feel at ease in your business
- Why some customers may need extra attention after COVID-19 closures
You’re ready for reopening—but are your customers? You’ve put in a lot of hard work and thought to make it safe to reopen and to get your staff ready for your new way of working. But even with every protection in place, some of your customers may not be ready to come in just yet. Here’s how to welcome skittish customers back and put their minds at ease when they’re in your business.
Use Text, Email, and Social Media to Get Customers Ready
Did you know that you begin easing customer anxiety before they walk in the door—before they’ve even scheduled their first appointment? It’s true! Your text, email, and social media communications are your first point of customer contact, so it’s important to make sure your message is clear. Think of your marketing messages as your customers’ “first impression” of your new way of doing business.
Bright Idea: List all your COVID-19 changes on your Vagaro website, from sanitation to scheduling and everything in between. Then, you can direct all text, email, and social messages there. This lets you focus on hooking customer attention with your message, instead of getting bogged down in the details!
New Policies Help Ease Anxiety
In your reopening announcements, you’ll be focused on covering your new business policies. This might include the following:
- Scheduling and pre-appointment policies
- Waiting room or waiting in car policies
- Mandatory masks
- Temperature checks at the door
- Hand sanitizing or handwashing requirements
- Shoes off policies
- Walk-in policies
Letting customers know what to expect at their first visit back will not only help make their appointment run smoother, but it’ll also reassure them that you’ve taken the time to put these policies into place for their safety.
Bright Idea: Send a pre-appointment email to customers with a bullet point list of process changes. Include a link to your COVID-19 landing page, where you can go into detail about new policies. Not only will this message get them into the “safety first” mindset, but it’ll reassure them that you are well-informed and ready to protect their health.
Make Changes They Can See
Part of the reason for customer anxiety is that you can’t see COVID-19, and it’s difficult for people to feel like you’re protecting them from a threat that isn’t visible to the naked eye. But what they can see is everything in your business that’s different! The physical changes are just as important as the sanitation steps you’re taking to protect against invisible threats. Customers are reassured about their safety when you’re stocked with PPE like masks, gloves, chair drapes, face shields, and protective barriers are reassuring to customers. Likewise, floor markers, mapped out traffic flow patterns, and blocked off areas are all measures that will help ease the mind of customers who may be feeling anxious before they walk in for the first time.
Bright Idea: Did you complete any new certifications, like getting Barbicide® certified, or any additional COVID-19 safety training? Print out your certifications and display them prominently next to your licenses. This shows customers that you take their safety seriously!
Your Empathy is Your Greatest Asset
The same way that your employees needed a boost to their morale before reopening, many of your clients will require some extra attention on their first visit back. While many will be eager to get back in to see you, most will still be processing the experience of being away from the world for weeks at a time. Others may be concerned for the safety of their immediate family, especially if they’ve got small children or at-risk family members. Here, it’s important to make sure that you lead with empathy and check in with anxious customers to see how they’re doing throughout the appointment.
Bright Idea: For first appointments back, tack on an extra 15 minutes to appointment times for catching up, listening to customers vent, or explaining new safety precautions step-by-step. Make this 15-minute buffer separate from your sanitation block, so that you’re not rushing through your cleaning time or your customer’s appointment time. That extra 15 minutes for first appointments will keep you on-time and ensure that your customers feel that their worries have been addressed.
We know how eager you are to see your customers again—and how much they want to see you too! We’ll make it easier for you to communicate your new procedures to your customers, and to make everything from pre-appointment reminders to check-out as smooth as possible. We’ve even got a COVID-19 liability waiver template! We’ll take care of the admin, so you can focus on the personal touch your customers have been missing. Welcome back to work!