Ways to Utilize Signage as You Reopen

As businessesWall Graphic reopen, it’s critical that they comply with both state and national guidelines. Protecting the health and safety of customers and employees should remain their top priority – and additional signage can be extremely helpful with this. Signage can both inform those who are unaware of safe social distancing practices as well as ensure that everyone is maintaining those practices. There are a number of ways to use signage on door, floor and walls for this purpose.

The CDC has laid out specific guidelines for maintaining social distancing (also called “physical distancing”), such as staying at least six feet from other people, not gathering in groups and staying out of crowded places. It’s important to follow these guidelines in your business, which can be simplified through correctly utilizing signage.

First, your customers should be informed of your business’s policies before they even enter the building. That means signage should be utilized on doors to clearly state if a face covering is required to enter, or if you are limiting the capacity of your business. If you’re dealing with customers lining up outside of your business, you can utilize floor graphics to outline spaces for people to stand in while they wait.

Floor Graphics 1You can also use this method in the interior of your business by using floor graphics for your check-out line. This helps maintain space between customers both insides your business and outside, without breaking the bank.

Placing directional signage on the floor to encourage organizational movement throughout your business can also be helpful. When customers feel organized and supported, they are likely to build trust and confidence, and ultimately, to return.

Signage on the floor is helpful, but there should also be signage at eye level. Place reminders to respect others’ space or to wear a face covering on the walls to encourage the safety of your customers and employees.

It’s vital to inform those who visit your business of your commitment to their health and safety. Especially if your state is enforcing the use of face coverings and social distancing, utilizing signage can help your business comply as you begin to reopen. Contact Allegra today to learn more about our reopening solutions.

Three Things Your Brand Should Keep in Mind When Responding to Current Events

When certain events or issues dominate a news cycle, many brands may want to know if and when they should make their own opinions known. Protests, demonstrations, public health crises, political controversies – these are all situations that businesses might feel the need to make a statement, or to communicate where they stand to customers.

A smart brand statement can help in gaining customer loyalty and support, while one that is less well thought-out could result in backlash or be perceived as insincere or opportunistic.

When the conversation on social media and the press is dominated by certain events, here are some things to keep in mind as your brand formulates a reaction.

 

Put Substance Behind Your Statement

A statement without substance can sometimes be worse than no statement at all. Make sure that your statement is genuine and sincere, and where appropriate, show what you’re doing to make a difference or give back, such as a donation or supporting a petition. Especially for issues related to social justice or inequality, consumers want to know where your corporate social responsibility lies. If nothing else, explain to your audience how the event has affected your brand, and what you will do as a company to ensure that you are standing on the side of justice.

 

Provide Resources

Before you comment on a situation, consider how you can lead by example. Encourage your audience to take a stand alongside your company and make a difference in their own way too. Include resources that consumers can use to educate themselves about the problem at hand. What can you share with your audience to help them be more informed?

 

Pay Close Attention to Engagement

After making a public statement, pay close attention to the engagement and feedback you receive from your audience. Whether it is negative or positive, it is imperative to respond to direct customer engagement. By acknowledging their comments, customers will feel valued and heard. Respond to a difficult comment with answers to their concerns, or when in doubt, direct them to another team member or resource that can help.

 

An open dialogue between your brand and your audience can be healthy and effective for your business. It may not always be an easy conversation to navigate, but if you are genuine, supportive, resourceful and attentive to the problem, your brand can use its platform to make a difference.

Creating Comfort for Customers as Businesses Reopen

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We are all eager for life to begin to return to normal – or at least a new normal, with increased social distancing and safety precautions. One element to that process that cannot be ignored is customer comfort. Even once stay-at-home orders begin to be lifted, individuals may still feel anxious at the idea of resuming normal activities like shopping and visiting local businesses.

As a business owner, there are ways to create comfort and stay top of mind for customers as you begin to reopen and welcome people back:

Share What (Unique) Things You’re Doing to Keep Customers Safe

Be thoughtful about the safety and hygiene practices you’re highlighting on social and in emails to customers. What do they really want to know? We have all started to feel fatigued at the sight of yet another COVID-19-related brand email with no new information. Try to anticipate your customer’s questions and concerns for your business in particular: “While we are following all local, state and federal guidelines for health and sanitation, I want to tell you about a few unique ways our business will be keeping you safe next time you visit.”

Let Your Customers Know You Missed Them

We’re all missing one another during quarantine, and now is a good time to let your customers know they’ve been on your mind. You may choose to send personalized messages to your most loyal customers, share heartfelt notes from your team or find other ways to communicate how much you’re looking forward to seeing them in-store once they feel safe enough to do so. You can even create an invitation to visit, date TBD, with a small promotion or discount included. Above all, be genuine in your words and put a face to your business as customers begin acclimating to communities reopening.

Express Community Gratitude

A simple “thank you” goes a long way. Show your support for the community with signage and graphics outside of your business and on your social channels thanking medical professionals, first responders, essential workers, teachers and other frontline workers. If it makes sense, create a special giveback for frontline workers or make a donation to a COVID-19 relief fund as a way to show your commitment to frontline workers in your community.

We know business owners are eager to reopen and welcome back customers and clients, but getting back to business will not be as quick as turning on a switch. In the meantime, nurture your relationships with customers with thoughtful touches as you begin ease them back into doing business with you once again.