No Mask, No Service: Convincing Customers to Follow Your COVID-19 Policies

How can small business owners convince their workers and customers to wear a facemask or sanitize? Find out in this article.

face-mask-covid-workest

As more and more businesses look forward to reopening, the coronavirus is far from gone. While experts estimate it may take 1 or 2 years to create a vaccine, employers are concerned about keeping their employees and customers safe without resorting to a complete shutdown.

When it comes to creating a safe workplace, there are simple measures you can take. The CDC recommends wearing face masks, washing hands frequently, and maintaining social distance. These suggestions are just as useful to combating COVID-19 as things begin to return to normal. While such measures aren’t mandatory nationwide, major retailers like Costco and the Midwest chain Menards are adopting them for both their employers and consumers.

But despite your good intentions, some employees and customers may be skeptical about continuing to adhere to COVID-19 policies. Here are some ideas of how to help them comply without being pushy.

Communicate your policies

It’s crucial to write down what steps you want to take and which are realistic for your business. For example, will it be possible to supply hand sanitizer or face masks regularly? Or will employees and customers need to bring their own? Are there changes you need to make to your regular workplace cleaning? Or do you need to shift schedules to optimize social distancing and cleanliness?

To keep things clear, consider keeping posters around the workplace with your specific COVID-19 policy or posting about it on social media. And while some may consider these measures excessive, you can stress how these policies are meant to protect both customers and employees.

To keep things clear, consider keeping posters around the workplace with your specific COVID-19 policy or posting about it on social media.

It can also be beneficial to review basic hand washing etiquette and the importance of washing face masks:

  • Employees should wash hands for at least 20 seconds or use hand sanitizer
  • Hand sanitizers should be composed of at least 60% alcohol
  • Face masks should be regularly washed or replaced, as the virus can live on the outside of a mask for 7 days

Encouraging Employees to wear face masks

The first order of business is to protect employees. As a business owner, you can set rules related to the virus — even if workers aren’t initially thrilled. It’s important to set aside a staff meeting to discuss the changes and preventive measures — and how they will impact your employees.

While not everyone will be convinced, you can reassure employees that wearing a face mask at work and sanitizing regularly will not only keep them safer — but it is a temporary measure and once the pandemic is officially over, the rules can be optional.

Of course, in order to encourage your workers, it’s better to walk the walk. You should not only work in the same manner but also make it easy for your employees to comply.

Of course, in order to encourage your workers, it’s better to walk the walk. You should not only work in the same manner but also make it easy for your employees to comply.

To keep things light, you can always consider creating a reward system for employees who follow the new policy. This can be in the form of small bonuses like gift cards, best face mask competitions, or providing other incentives.

Encouraging customers to wear face masks

Customers are a different story. While it’s likely that many customers will continue using masks and be appreciate of having hand sanitizer available, there may be some who refuse to comply.

It’s first important to let customers know that you expect them to use face masks and sanitizers when they enter your building. If you are able to provide both, you give customers little reason to disagree. If you find that many of your customers refuse or do not want to use these preventative measures, you may decide to:

  • Provide face masks and sanitizer for purchase
  • Offer a discount or free item for complying
  • Give special gift cards — If they visit your establishment 5 items with a face mask they get a discount
  • Present alternatives to product delivery such as home delivery or curbside pickup
  • Ask the customer to sign a waiver that the business is not responsible if they fall ill

As a last resort, you may choose to turn away customers who do not comply. While it is not ideal, especially during trying times, safety of your staff and customers is paramount.

Bookmark(1)

Might also interest you