Businesses around the United States are in the process of reopening, but they are returning to a changed world. After months of staying home, consumers are eager to get out, but they are also nervous about their safety. As a business owner, it is vital that you take the proper measures to ensure that everyone who visits your establishment feels safe. This includes not only customers, but also employees, vendors, and other guests.
What do consumers now expect from businesses in the age of COVID-19?
The COVID-19 pandemic has changed what was once considered normal. From grocery shopping to going to a doctor’s office, special precautions must be followed. As businesses around the United States reopen, here are some things that consumers now want and expect from them:
- Social distancing
- Limited capacity
- Temperature checks before entering
- Additional cleaning
- Sanitizing surfaces between customers
- Hand sanitizer stations
- Masks required for everyone who enters
- Contactless payment options
- Delivery when possible
People want their space when visiting your business
The new norm is to maintain a minimum distance of six feet between you and another person, and your customers expect this to be enforced when they visit your business. Some ways to give your customers additional space are to limit the number of people you let in at a time and to remove or rearrange furniture to prevent people from getting too close to one another.
While wearing a mask in public is not mandatory in all jurisdictions, it is wise to encourage people to do so to protect themselves and others. Hanging signs on the walls is a good way to remind people to wear their masks and practice safe social distancing.
Consumers expect more sanitary storefronts and workspaces
In this pandemic world, consumers expect the highest level of cleanliness. Cleaning your business once a week, or even once a day, is no longer enough. Consumers now expect businesses to clean several times throughout the day. Many businesses are also going as far as to sanitize surfaces between each customer.
In addition to upping your cleaning, make sure that your bathrooms are always fully stocked with soap and paper towels, and consider providing hand sanitizer in several locations throughout your workspace.
Consumers want to minimize physical contact wherever possible
Many businesses are unable to generate revenue without face-to-face contact with their customers. Examples of this include hair salons, doctors, dentists, photographers, and many other service contractors. Some businesses do not require face-to-face services, but the experiences of their clients are enhanced when they meet in the same room. A therapist, personal trainer, or funeral home director are three examples of this reliance on social interaction.
However, today’s customers want to reduce physical contact with other people as much as possible. To adapt, businesses are finding new ways to provide them with as many contactless options as possible. Restaurants and stores are now offering curbside pickup and delivery. Some veterinarians are only allowing pets to enter their offices, while the owners wait outside. Businesses are also adapting by offering new contactless payment methods such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, Venmo, Zelle and cryptocurrency.