Shawn Maher

Opening After COVID: It’s Not When, but What Your Customers Want

Now is an unprecedented time for businesses. Of course, we’ve been saying that since March at least. But at least now optimism mixed in with all the uncertainty. However, when it comes to opening back up for business, you can’t just sprint out of the gate. You have to move slowly and safely. 

And maybe you have an idea about how you want to proceed. But no matter how meticulously you’ve planned your reopening, your plans don’t matter if they don’t align with your customers’ expectations. 

Before you do anything else, you MUST take your customers into consideration. 

Finding the Right Fit

Our client, Club Fitness, is a great example. As a gym with locations across the region, they are already under more scrutiny than most businesses. Regardless, their core mission is based on Lifting Local with a focus on healthy, happier lives. And that mission permeates everything they do, which means listening to their members and giving them the experience THEY want when they open their doors again. 

Because of this core mission, when they began considering what their reopening would look like, they opened the floor to their customers with surveys and research with regards to what their members wanted to see upon reopening. 

The result? They’ve taken extra precautions to ensure their members’ safety, from the moment they enter their club, throughout their workout and even when they leave. Club Fitness has gone above and beyond CDC recommendations to ensure they don’t just open, but they open their doors to the experience their members want. 

The Beauty of Listening

Additionally, hair salons are high contact by their very nature. That makes it difficult for our client, Fantastic Sam’s. And since they have franchises throughout many different counties and municipalities, they abide by different guidelines. However, they made it a priority to listen to their customers tell them what they wanted to make them comfortable beyond what the law requires. 

So we worked in tandem with each salon owner to perform in-depth research to discover what their customers were seeking in a post-COVID salon experience. CDC guidance, for them, is a baseline, but going beyond to give their customers the experience they want means that they can not only keep them safe. That makes them especially prepared to overcome the hesitance we all feel when it comes to going back into public. 

First and foremost, your business must follow CDC and government guidelines to the very letter of the law. However, when it comes to reopening, your plan  better include listening carefully to your customers and acting with empathy. You may have your own ideas about how to do it, but what your customers want you to do could be totally different. 

If you need help strategizing your reopening plan or creating a questionnaire for your customers so you can gain a deeper understanding of exactly what their expectations are, then get in touch. We’ve got decades of experience in customer insights and can put it to work for you now, when it matters more than ever.