Right now people are looking for assurance. We need to know that every essential business is using everything in their arsenal to protect us, convince us how they are the right choice to spend our money with and show us their commitment to all health/safety standards.
It may sound more daunting than it really is so let's take a collective breath and consider how this can be accomplished by those operating in a brick-and-mortar setting.
We submit that engaging the Five Senses can become your competitive advantage and help you establish proper protocols/practices moving forward.
In this example, we will use grocery stores since most people are still using a shopping trip to escape the monotony of the self-quarantine environment:
SMELL When they step foot into your store, the first thing that should greet them is the scent of a clean facility. It's not always possible to find disinfecting and/or sanitizing products with pleasant scents but during the time of this pandemic, a freshly-cleaned facility will certainly bring a measure of comfort to your customers.
TASTE Since this sense is 80% driven by smell, it is of utmost importance to have your meat, seafood, deli, and dairy departments monitored closely for spills, etc. Many shoppers plan meals based on what looks and smells fresh in your aisles and can visualize how it will taste on their plates, so use this to your advantage.
SIGHT If sanitizing wipes are in short supply or unavailable have employees stationed at the door with a bucket holding a cleaning solution and cloths to sanitize the shopping carts as customers enter. For the departments whose employees serve customers from behind the counter i.e., meat/seafood, deli, and bakery. Make sure the counters are consistently being wiped down, proper disposal efforts are being made and employees are gloved and/or masked.
HEARING Here is where the P.A. system can work to your advantage: make sure announcements of special offers are coming through loud and clear. People are in need of stretching their spending power to the fullest and hearing how your store is committed to helping with that will be appreciated and profitable. Have upbeat music playing so shoppers can stay feel good about being there.
TOUCH Your produce department should be monitored closely for bruised and/or overripe fruits and vegetables. Many hands will pick up the products to determine ripeness, weight, and volume. Make sure it is nicely displayed and seems abundant ... even if it means rearranging the display to look fuller if inventory is a bit low.
The message this sends to your customers is of your commitment to their health, safety, and well-being along with that of your employees. This is invaluable.
Above all, stay committed to continuing these practices after this season is over. We will get through this because 'trouble don't last always'! To your continued personal and professional health.
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