Physical shopping has certainly suffered from the "stay home" message. And if you had to go out, you were welcomed by countless warning signs. Customers were seen as potential corona patients rather than valued guests. You are lucky to even be allowed into a shop. Understandable in the early stages of the pandemic, but as it seems the virus will be around for some time we need to adjust our in store communication accordingly.
If the virus is 'under control' we need to take back control over our lives again. Staying vigilant and being resourceful is key. The drastic measures that have been or still are in place have worked well to get everyone to understand the dangers and adapt to social distancing. Everyone is aware of what to do and what not to do. Warnings everywhere we go are not necessary. We just need to be remembered. Getting back to normal, but being remembered that the virus is not entirely gone yet. The message remains the same, but the form can be different. Rules are still in place, although some have been softened. This also goes for retail. Fully back to normal can’t be done yet. But is time for positivity.
Shopping should be fun again. Attractive, even with social distancing. Welcoming, so that the customer feels king again. Should we forget everything about safety? No! Safety remains very important. But, the customer must feel welcome, safe and at ease.
Checklist for intelligent in-store communication
We see it ever so often: you are met at the entrance of a store by a security guard or employee. You see arrows, paper and stickers everywhere, with large warnings. Well-intentioned, but not very customer-friendly. Of course improvisation was needed in the initial phase. Now it is time to deal with your communication intelligently, in stores as well as in offices and public places. Intelligent forms of communication that radiate quality and customer-friendliness, in line with what your store or brand stood for before COVID-19. Take a closer look at every type of in-store communication! Use our checklist.
1. Check whether all corona-related statements still apply.
2. Choose a clearly recognizable form for "safe shopping" expressions.
3. Go for sustainable communication and remove damaged and/or temporary solutions.
4. Adjust the tone of the utterances to the customer, in a more customer-friendly way.
5. Do you have a security guard at the door? Make him or her a host/hostess.
6. Instruct employees how to address customers about behavior and practice this.