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What steps can you take to earn the trust of your customers amidst a global pandemic?
Just as badly as you want your customers to return, they want to return—but they won’t unless they feel they can trust you. How can you earn their trust? There are a few different ways.
Be Proactive in Your Messaging
There are some companies that have decided to remain in denial about Coronavirus. Their hope is that ignoring the 800-pound gorilla in the room will put their customers at ease and allow them to psychologically return to a pre-COVID existence. Not only is this approach potentially illegal, but its also dangerous—not just to their workers’ and customers’ health, but also to your bottom line. The number of consumers taking Coronavirus seriously has largely surpassed those who don’t. Earning the trust of these customers means that your business’ messaging must be proactive in regard to your dedication to health and safety.
Your customers need to know that your business is taking this seriously for their sake. However you choose to communicate with your customers—whether via social media, email newsletters, or advertising—it behooves your business to market the accommodations you are making to protect their health. What is the next step? You have to keep that promise.
Temperature Screening for Customer Entry
Though Coronavirus testing is pretty much off of the table for customers, one of the most consistent and easily detectable symptoms of a Coronavirus infection is a fever. Screening the temperature of every customer before they enter your place of business can substantially reduce the likelihood of customer-to-customer virus transmission. This precaution combined with the lowered risk of transmission can make customers feel more confident that you are looking out for their health and well-being.
There are a few different ways to conduct such temperature screenings.
Manual Human-Conducted Temperature Screenings
Presently, one of the most common means of screening temperatures upon entry is a person manually taking individuals' temperatures before they’re permitted entry. Some standard guidelines include:
- This screener may be an existing employee or you may opt to hire a new person for this role.
- Ideally, they should don adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) in the form of a mask, gloves, and possibly eye protection due to their proximity to potentially infected individuals.
- The screening area should preferably be somewhat separated from the main entrance to increase the confidentiality of temperatures and maintain social distancing precautions.
- They should use a no-contact thermometer that they should first use on themselves and your other employees as they arrive to work.
- Those with elevated temperatures should be told so as respectfully and discreetly as the circumstances allow. Such customers should be told that they cannot be served at this time for the sake of customer and employee safety.
Automated Device-Conducted Temperature Screenings
An increasingly popular method of temperature screening is via automated devices.
- These devices can be mounted on walls or left freestanding on kiosk-like platforms wherever your business chooses to screen customers.
- These devices are outfitted with highly accurate no-contact, tamper-resistant infrared thermometers—allowing for humanless, contactless interaction.
- Many of these device models are also equipped with facial recognition capabilities to assist your staff in the enforcement of mask-wearing protocols.
- Some models can be equipped to deliver audible notifications to your staff and additional instructions in case of a detected fever.
- Ideally, these devices should be placed in such an area that ensures no one enters without first being screened—similar to metal detector protocols in airports, etc.
- Though automated, the process should be ideally supervised by a host or other staff member to ensure that customers understand and respect the screening process.
(For additional questions about automated temperature screening devices, you’re invited to learn more about these technologies and speak with a business solutions expert from JD Young Technologies.)
Mask-Wearing When in Motion
Though temperature screenings for entry can go a long way toward keeping customers safe, a summary from the Centers for Disease Control revealed that as much as two-thirds of all Coronavirus transmissions in the US came from people not exhibiting symptoms. The most common method of transmission is through the inhalation of droplets and vapors exhaled from infected individuals (symptomatic or asymptomatic)—making the wearing of masks crucial to limiting the rate of infection within your place of business. Assuming that every person is possibly carrying the virus allows you to take the precautions necessary to earn customer trust.
Consistent Compliance & Comfort
Though the default rule for mask compliance should ideally state that all customers should be required to wear face masks, there should be times when a mask is not required—such as when seated at a dining table. Still, these unique situations should be limited to maintain customer confidence.
In addition to providing genuine protection to customers, the enforcement of mask-wearing for every member of your staff strengthens your company’s unspoken messaging about safety to otherwise-anxious customers. When every customer and employee—from owners to take-out customers and beyond—wear a mask, this helps otherwise hesitant customers feel that you not only value their business but that you care about their health and wellbeing.
Coming Together Over Social Distancing
Studies have shown that Coronavirus is most likely to be spread through the coughed or exhaled droplets from infected individuals. To decrease the likelihood of spread, keeping customers out of harm’s way calls for social distancing measures. To best limit the spread of the virus, it’s recommended to enforce a social distancing protocol in your business —asking customers to remain at least six feet from customers outside of their group or party.
Displaying a Vigilant Dedication to Cleanliness
Though the customers you had pre-COVID may be many of the same individuals you want back, these people have changed in regard to their standards and expectations of the businesses they frequent. Protecting these customers makes them feel valued. While the health precautions you take are the main methods displaying how much you value their business, a secondary way of doing this is by helping them in their efforts to remain safe.
- Consider placing hand sanitizer stations throughout your business—especially near entrances and exits.
- Equip customers with disposable masks if they need them.
- Thoroughly sanitize any surfaces they may touch.
Fostering cleanliness is yet another means of earning your customers’ trust. If you’re not meeting their safety needs, they will likely find another business that can.
Help Keeping Your Dedication Top of Mind
To assist your customers in trusting your dedication, we’ve developed a handy infographic for you to print and display throughout your facility. Not only does this graphic act as a reminder to your employees to remain vigilant, but it also reminds your customers of your dedication to their health and safety as well as their loved ones.