8 Ways To Tell Your Customers Your Store is Reopening

Plus 3 more ideas to keep them coming back.

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Strategies to bring customers to your store and help them feel safe doing so

This year has certainly been difficult for businesses. The pandemic shut down stores all over the country, causing financial struggles for many. At last, numerous states are relaxing some of the rules and allowing some brick-and-mortar stores to reopen.

If you own a business that is reopening now, you may be thinking about strategies for getting your customers to walk through your doors again. Here are 8 ideas for spreading the news that you are back in business.

How to tell your customers your store is reopening

1. Website

Hopefully, you’ve maintained your business’s website throughout the shutdown. In fact, cyberspace has probably been your main source of customer communication for the past 3 months. This makes your website the perfect place to announce your reopening.

On your homepage, be sure to clearly state:

  • When you will reopen
  • What your hours will be
  • Any social distancing rules you will be enforcing during store hours

For example, are you admitting a certain number of customers at a time? Must customers wear masks? Will you require one-way shopping aisles and standing 6 feet apart? Not only will this information help your customers prepare for their shopping trips, it’ll also help them feel more comfortable about visiting your store. Many people are still concerned about exposing themselves to the novel coronavirus, so social distancing measures may ease their minds a bit.

Many people are still concerned about exposing themselves to the novel coronavirus, so social distancing measures may ease their minds a bit.

2. Transactional touchpoints

If you are currently selling products or services — whether online, over the phone, or elsewhere — these transactional touchpoints are the perfect opportunity to communicate with your customers. Be sure that customer service representatives tell every caller about your reopening plans. If people buy your products online, make sure every confirmation email and package insert includes your news as well.

3. Social media

If you have social media accounts, you should absolutely utilize those to communicate reopening plans. Be sure to encourage your fans to like and share your posts to reach a larger audience.

4. Apps

Does your business have a user rewards app? These are the apps that offer customers rewards points for shopping in your store that they can later redeem for discounts on future purchases. They’re also a great way to communicate with your customers.

If you have a mobile app, you can instantly message all of your customers to let them know you are back in business.

If you have a mobile app, you can instantly message all of your customers to let them know you are back in business.

5. Emails

Many businesses engage in email marketing. Hopefully, you’ve built up a list of customer email addresses that you can use for sales funnels. It’s more important than ever to utilize your list now, so that you can let all of your customers know when to patronize your business in person.

6. Banners and flags

So far we’ve been talking high-tech communication, but there’s nothing wrong with getting the word out the old-fashioned way. Hanging a great big banner over your door will let anyone driving by know that they can stop in and spend their money in your store.

7. Human directionals

We’re sure you’ve seen those people in the goofy costumes, standing on street corners and waving signs around. These folks are called human directionals because their signs are often shaped like arrows pointing to a business. And they certainly get the job done!

8. Grand(ish) reopening parties

You can be mindful of social distancing needs and still have a reopening event. We call it grand(ish) because you can’t have packed crowds in your store. But you can run promotions, like offering discounts on opening day, or handing out a free gift to your first 1,000 customers. Put up some party decorations, play some music, and make it feel festive.

How to keep your customers coming back

Like we mentioned above, your customers might still be a bit leery about going out and potentially exposing themselves to COVID-19. In order to ease their concerns — and keep them coming back to your store — it is crucial that you show them how you are working to protect their health.

1. Follow public health guidelines for reopening

The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, as well as state and local health departments, have issued guidelines for reopening businesses while keeping the public safe. You can read the CDC guidelines here. To find your state health department’s website, click here.

In most cases, guidelines include:

  • Requiring employees and customers to wear face masks
  • Requiring people to maintain a distance of at least 6 feet apart
  • Limiting the number of people who can be inside your store at once
  • Limiting physical contact between employees and customers, such as cash transactions
  • Requiring employees and customers to use hand sanitizer or wear gloves in some cases
  • Asking employees and customers to stay home if they feel ill

2. Keep your store clean

If your customers see overflowing trash cans or dirty bathrooms, they are going to assume the rest of your store is dirty too, including the parts they can’t see. They may worry that your employees don’t wash their hands or disinfect surfaces. This isn’t the image you want to project anytime, least of all when people are concerned about a contagious and deadly virus. So clean regularly to show that you take hygiene and health seriously.

3. Be prepared to answer questions

This “new normal” is unexplored territory for everyone. And it’s still evolving. Your reopening plans may change over time, and that’s fine. There is so much uncertainty right now; few business owners can predict what the next few months will bring.

The most important thing you can do to build trust with your customers during these uncertain times is to be totally transparent about communicating any updates or changes with them.
The most important thing you can do to build trust with your customers during these uncertain times is to be totally transparent about communicating any updates or changes with them. And above all, don’t overpromise. If there’s a particular service that you’re not sure you’ll be able to provide, say that. Let people know that you are still trying to figure it out, and you’ll tell them as soon as you have an answer.

In addition, all businesses should be prepared to answer common questions your customers might have. Any customer-facing employees should be trained with clear scripts for answering these questions.

Among other things, your customers may wonder:

  • What are you doing to keep customers and employees safe?
  • How many people are allowed in your store at a time?
  • Are masks required?
  • Will you still accept cash, or will all transactions be electronic for now?’
  • When might we expect regulations to relax even more?
  • How will you serve customers with disabilities?

Arming yourself and your employees with this knowledge will give your customers the confidence to view you as professional and in control. It will also keep them coming back to your store in the days and weeks ahead.

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