Slowly but surely, Ireland and other countries are making their way out of lockdown.
With most industries having a provisional date for reopening we can begin preparing. Whilst this may change, it is important to be optimistic by being ready and setting our plans into motion.
What can we do to prepare for reopening?
Your business may have seen unprecedented changes these last few months. What changes to your business are you going to keep with you moving forward?
Online or delivery services are even more relevant now. Many people likely to continue working from home for at least part of the week. For example, a sizeable number of restaurants are now doing delivery service. It is important to continue this service as customers may still be uncomfortable eating outside their homes.
If you’ve been following our other guides you can see we’ve recommended a few steps already to help you make the most of your time while under lockdown.
COVID -19 policy
The safety of your staff and customers should be at the forefront of every plan. Depending on your type of business you may still be waiting on guidelines from the HSE on measures required upon reopening. While you may not have specifics, it’s important to have some policies in place to show what you are doing to make your business a safe environment.
Make sure everything is laid out clearly. From cleaning procedures to changes that your guests may expect. Ensure this is something that your guests can easily find on your website. This will help with their confidence in returning to your business.
Prepare your staff
It’s important to assure your staff that their safety is important to you. Keep them up to date with any changes coming in. The last thing you want upon reopening is employees looking uncomfortable being back at work.
Look to locals
It is likely that many of us will be reducing international travel for the foreseeable future and may be looking much closer to home. For those in hospitality and the travel industry, this will affect you the most. Show your local area’s best attractions and show it as a destination. Look for local attractions of all kinds and sizes. These make excellent content for your website, blog, and social media.
Don’t forget these local attractions will also have been affected by the closure and a lack of tourism. Something as simple as linking to them on your website or tagging them on social media could help bring awareness to their business as well as yours. Depending on the attraction there may even be a possibility of a collaboration. How about an offer on your website that also includes a ticket to the local must-see attraction as well as a lunch?
As well as local offerings, your guests will be longing for a break away from their home. With the pandemic having affected everyone, many people will be looking for a deal. Look at opening offers whether it’s a simple discount code or a family package.
Reward your guests
As well as discounts, extras can go a long way in your customers choosing you over your competitors. From freebies such as a glass of prosecco or dinner included in their hotel package. Guests are looking to make the most out of their time and money. If you have a loyalty club in place this is an excellent time to encourage your customers to sign up. Use your loyalty club to promote exclusive perks such as double points or exclusive offers.
Promote your campaigns
Once you have your promotions and opening offers decided, let your customers know.
Make use of channels that you already have access to let them know of you reopening plans:
Use your email lists to tell past customers of your Covid 19 policy as well as any exclusive offers just for them.
Use your organic social channels to advertise your safety procedures as well as any news on reopening.
Pay Per Click ads:
Though your budget may be scarce, there is no better time to start running with your paid advertising. With search intent low as well as many companies dropping advertising altogether, cost per click rates have dropped. By using a search intent model and only paying for clicks, you are only spending money when people have an interest in what you are selling.
Prepare to make changes
One thing we have learned in the last few months is that planning is essential but being prepared to change those plans is necessary.
As we come closer and closer to the next phase of lockdown, we must be prepared that the guidelines we receive may not work with the offers that we have planned.
We have to be ready to adapt and keep focusing on our online or delivery offerings. Remember that everyone has been affected by this lockdown and will decide what businesses to go to when they can. Customers will remember which businesses acted responsibly.