This is not about what is medically most effective – please see the CDC for those guidelines. This is about how to help your customers have a great experience as an onsite visitor at your facility or storefront. For a comprehensive approach to a customer-friendly COVID-19 experience, address the four P’s: Places, Processes, Products, and People:
Places – Starting outside the building, have signage that tells the customer what to do and where to go, using a combination of pictures/coloring/words. You need to put a premium on self-navigation. From signage outside the facility to signage inside the facility, whether it is directional on the floor, wall, ceiling, and “You are here” maps – make it easy on them to move appropriately from area to area. You want it to be simple enough that they can navigate on their own without having to engage your staff for directions.
“Simply, to have a customer-friendly experience, BE FRIENDLY!”
Processes – This is about proactive and digital instructions. How you help them and how you help them help themselves are both very important. View yourself as an educator of customers for how they can have the best experience possible. From the moment they walk in the door (or even before they enter your building!), proactively engage them with questions and directions to get them started on a great experience. Ensure you have a website that gives the specific aisle and bin where an item is located or specific in-facility directions on how to get to a particular office.
Products & Services – Whether self-service inside or outside/curbside service, there needs to be an opportunity for contactless delivery. This is where you look at all the different digital and hands-free ways that customers can either get their own need met onsite while engaging employees as little as possible or set up an entire process such that they can pull up outside your facility and get whatever physical documentation or product is required. Define services that allow them to get what they need with limited or no physical contact with your staff.
People – Finally, with less face-to-face interaction, oftentimes impeded by a mask, those interactions have to be that much better. Simply, your staff need to know how to smile with their eyes. Simply, to have a customer-friendly experience, BE FRIENDLY! It’s easy as a leader to overthink things. If they are in your buildings less, appreciate them during each engagement more. If they proactively initiate conversations with you less, proactively initiate conversations with them more. Extra courtesy and respect are vital when people make the extra effort to safely come to and enter our facilities.
To have a customer friendly COVID-19 walk-in experience, ensure you’re taking a comprehensive approach. Along with all the medically necessary strides you’re taking, view the overall experience through the customer’s eyes. Address the Places, Processes, Products, and People aspects of their experience.