Posted by: Ray Buice on Jun 11 , 2020 2:00 PM
People are hungry. Hungry for more than their favorite food at a familiar spot. People are craving normalcy. That craving isn't satisfied by a day shopping with friends, or a beverage from your local cafe. We are craving social gatherings, hugging our loved ones, and establishing a normal routine. As a thought-leader in your organization, will you reset and move forward or retreat to the same way you operated before the shutdown? Now is the time to start shifting the focus to what the new reality will be as we slowly start re-establishing our normal activities in a different operating environment. It will require a careful balance to stage a reopening without any regret. This is where your business and Bailiwick can blend together to ease anxious thoughts and satisfy the craving for a return to the [new] normal.
Customer acquisition costs are always high, but if your re-opening doesn't incorporate additional safety procedures, the cost of regaining customers could become impossible. The pandemic has impacted our economy in a way we will never forget. Poorly managed re-openings could damage your reputation and weaken brand loyalty. Customers often hear about how much a business cares and this is the clearest opportunity for you to prove it.
You have one shot.
The connection between technology and safety has never been more obvious or urgent. Technology, especially touch-less tech with the use of contactless payment options, will lessen the anxiety for both employees and customers. Embracing a technological approach will not only strengthen your ability to retain your current customer base, it could even increase your market share.
As unwelcome as this interruption has been, to make the best use of it requires you take a moment to re-think and re-invest in employee and customer safety by embracing technology platforms and on-site enhancements. To keep your re-opening in line with a flattening curve, you need to stay ahead of the curve on adapting technology to your business needs.
Camera solutions that monitor inventory can become a tool to track the number of people entering and exiting. There are also camera solutions that can be used to monitor the temperature of employees and customers. Parking lots, once thought of as a convenience, are now an extension of your dining area and transforming into social gathering spots. Using outdoor digital message boards has become increasingly important, especially as a way of providing safety information before customers ever set foot inside your establishment.
Recently one of our clients told us their franchisees referred to Outdoor Digital Menu Boards as a God-send. He said, "We've seen a business benefit in some of the things ODMB has done for us." Regarding COVID-19, "It's enabled us to message to our customer around what we're doing from a safety standpoint, reduce our menu with simplicity - and highlight trending items," he said. (Watch the recording here!)
Social distancing has kept us apart but doesn't mean you have to go through your re-opening alone. Incorporating Bailiwick technology solutions backed by a dedicated, results-driven and nimble staff gives you the opportunity to lead by example. Even if they didn't realize it, customers appreciate - and benefit - from the speed that technology affords. By highlighting the safety it provides you, double-down on the reason to invest in upgrades.
COVID-19 moved fast in shutting down many businesses and your approach to re-opening is going to need a partner who can move just as quickly to integrate safety protocols without interfering with your business operations.
From repurposing sophisticated message boards and payment terminals to incorporating subtle social distancing cues, Bailiwick is not only a trusted partner for technology solutions, we also provide individual solutions that exceed expectations. It was with that spirit in mind when the Bailiwick team rose to a client’s challenge to help install 55,000 Sneeze Guards at 15,000 locations in four weeks.
You only have to touch a stove once to know if it's hot and consumers will give most businesses just one opportunity to show they have the re-open situation handled.
Customer experience will extend beyond your product offerings and also include the safety and trust they feel in your physical environment. Your steps today may be related to this crisis, but your decisions will send a clear message about how adept you will be at handling the next one.
Bailiwick has been involved in a lot of conversations about the Great Re-Start and has been working to decipher what that means for us and our clients. In the spirit of knowledge sharing, we developed an on-line resource to guide and simplify the many strategies to defend against COVID-19. Visit it here.
Ray Buice is a Program Manager at Bailiwick. Ray leads the Digital Services project team responsible for bringing our clients' digital strategies to fruition. Fact: Ray led the team who managed the deployment of 34,000 digital menu boards (indoor/outdoor) in 47 states for one of our clients.
Ray was a panelist at our recent QSR Webinar. Watch the recording here.
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