Rebuilding Customer Comfort and Confidence
This is not a situation where “Build it and they will come” applies. We can’t just assume that when we open back up for business, our customers will come to our facilities, that they are going to do it just like they did beforehand. No, we are not referring to the economic barriers of policies and regulations that will be in place. We are talking about the personal barriers of the concerns and mindset of the customer. For customers to come back, they need to have the comfort level and confidence they had before all of this started.
Everything we are about to suggest needs to be part of a strategic Touch Point Plan, which we address in Keeping Customers during COVID. Let’s focus on some of the key characteristics of messaging and communications within that Touch Point Plan, as the goal is to rebuild customer comfort and confidence.
We need to make sure that we’re gathering information on our customers, not assuming that we know how they are feeling or how likely they are to return. We need to ask them the questions and then be willing to modify our approach based on their response. Next, when we’re sharing information, we need to set expectations of what that experience is going to be like once it’s determined, and say it more than once to manage customer expectations through the process.
We need to help them visualize what that experience is going to look like. We need to literally show them what a pleasant, enjoyable, successful experience they’re going to have whenever they come back to our locations. And when they are onsite again, we need to deliver what we’ve helped them visualize. We need to provide onsite messaging to reinforce those communications that help them to understand what the organization is doing to make it a safe experience, understand their individual role in making sure it is a safe experience, and allow them to navigate with confidence and surety.
Finally, while onsite, we need to clearly provide recognizable resources to help them navigate the process or get their questions answered. Self-service and self-navigation are important, but people are going to want more of the human touch, or at least the availability of that personal interaction to help them overcome any fears or mental roadblocks to having a great experience.