Whenever you decide to reopen, your customers will have a lot of questions. The good news about that is that most of them will go to your website or Facebook page before they call or email you. So if you can answer their question first with an FAQ page or a social media post, you can avoid having to answer it through repeated inquiries and save what is now precious employee time.
Here are a few tips to help you create a reopening page or FAQ that will help you avoid time-consuming phone calls and email questions.
- Think like your customer. It’s hard as a business owner to imagine not knowing everything about your business – you live and breathe it! So sit down and really try to put yourself in your customers’ shoes. They want to come back, but they also want to feel safe. So let them know how they can.
- Make the link to your FAQ or COVID page prominent. Don’t make your customers dig to find out what your COVID policies are. We understand that it’s not a fun thing to lead with, but you’re trying to make your customers’ experience as easy and intuitive as possible, and avoiding talking about the pandemic won’t magically make it go away. So put a callout to access the information front and center on your homepage and/or pin the information on your social media. Then don’t be afraid to regularly share these FAQs – especially on social media. Thanks to good ol’ social algorithms, not everyone who can or should see your FAQ post will, so a “one-and-done” approach to dispersing important updates won’t cut it.
- Know that you will not please every customer every time. Some of your customers will think you’re not doing enough to keep them safe. Some will think you’re overreacting and doing too much. As long as you know you’re doing what’s best for your business and employees, it’s okay that you’re not pleasing all of the people all of the time.
- Check out your social media. Your customers can help you build your posts, FAQ or COVID page. Often there are common themes or questions that are asked—wait for it—more FREQUENTLY than others. Start off with those! Here are a few questions we’ve seen pop up for some of our re-opening clients:
- Are the service changes you made during COVID (adding take-out/delivery/curbside pick-up) going to continue?
- What is your mask policy? (NOTE: If you feel strongly about keeping your employees safe, it’s okay to be stringent about this. The customers you want to keep will understand.)
- Will you be collecting tracking info for contact tracing? (This is happening in Oregon – check to see if it’s happening in your state!)
- How are you implementing physical distancing? What SPECIFICALLY will it look like? (Will tables be six feet apart if you’re a restaurant? Do you have policies in place to keep your employees from being in close quarters? Will you ask your customers to wear pool noodle hats to enforce social distancing like this German café? We’re recommending not, but you do you.)
- Are your hours still the same?
- What other policies do you have in place to keep employees and customers safe?
- Are there capacity restrictions? What happens if I show up and you’re at capacity?
- What are you doing to clean/sanitize and how will guests/customers know it’s been thoroughly cleaned?
- If all your services are not 100% available – will there be discounts? And when will all services be available?
- If we live in an unopened county (or a county in a different phase of opening), can we come to your county, or are you only serving locals?
- For businesses with reservations, have you adjusted your cancellation policies due to the pandemic?
The great thing about digital media is that it’s flexible. Make your COVID FAQ a living document, and as you see questions pop up repeatedly, add them to the list.
As always, if you need help with any of this, we’re here. (We’d say “We’re all in this together,” but if we hear that one more time our heads will explode.)