In the US and beyond it has been a tough year. Businesses large and small have had to learn to adapt and reinvent themselves at a moment’s notice, and we all have found ourselves in new, unpredicted roles. Through everything, what holds true and unites individuals and businesses is that we have all learned, and we have all grown. 

We have all been doing our best in the “new normal”. Now that we’ve shifted our strategies to fit the new flow, let’s reflect. Where have we been, and where are we going? 

Industries Adapting Through COVID-19

Companies across the globe pivoted their production plans in an effort to fight the spread of COVID-19. Athletic companies created face shields, and car manufacturers assisted with ventilator production. Breweries and the beauty industry picked up the production of hand sanitizer, and almost every clothing retailer began to sell face masks. How did our other industries adapt? Let’s check-in. 

Restaurant Industry: Since COVID-19, many restaurants and bars no longer allow customers to dine in, or have precautions that they must take when doing so. Sometimes this is the choice of the restaurant, or due to a government mandate. Restaurants have experimented with online and mobile ordering, and are relying heavily on the traditional methods of over-the-phone ordering. Drive-throughs and delivery services have gotten creative with contactless delivery methods, with demand surging throughout the last few months. 

Retail Stores: Many stores across the globe now require shoppers to wear masks inside the building. The number of entrances and exits are limited to ensure proper sanitization procedures are being followed. And, many retail stores are offering free face masks to customers who don’t have one of their own with hand sanitizing stations throughout the store. 

Entertainment: Live entertainment and concerts were prohibited and canceled for an extended time. While many states still prohibit large-scale “events”, entertainers are now working on getting creative and holding virtual concerts, providing strict social-distancing “zones”. 

Moving Forward During COVID

The next step? Data collection! Sports teams, events, restaurants, hotels, and more are focusing on data collection to better serve their community and lower the risk. How does the collection of your data work against COVID? It’s simple: when you sign up for an event you must enter your name, and a phone number or email. This is so if another person who attended that event tests positive for COVID-19 after attending, you will be notified that you have been potentially exposed. 

What other trends are proving to last, and continue to be prevalent throughout the next few months? Consumers are showing that safety is, and will continue to be, important to them. If applied in a tasteful way, advertisements and social media content featuring people wearing masks are seen in a positive light. Consider these examples posted on social media by businesses local to Ocean City: 

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Source: Thrasher’s® French Fries                     Source: Jolly Roger® 30th St. 

 

Cultivating Responses to Customers

Your customers will have varied responses over everything: it’s in our nature as humans. As a business owner, you can’t control how your customers are going to react to your new policies, however, you can prioritize training your staff. 

Businesses across the globe have begun to prepare their staff members with de-escalation strategies to deflect fights among customers who try to enforce or defy mask-related laws and mandates. In addition to adapting to in-person conflicts and conversations, the power of social media is as relevant as ever during these times. Negative comments, reviews, and messages can be frustrating as always, so it’s important for your business to remember that, while a response is typically encouraged, it is always your choice. 

If you want to prove that your place of business is staying up to snuff with state and local guidelines, but don’t want to respond to all commenters then consider these quick tips: 

  1. Post imagery of safety procedures such as social distancing markers, mask-wearing, temperature checks, sanitizing stations, and more. 

  2. Create a page on your website where all updates and information regarding your business policies and state and local mandates live and be sure to link back to that page and update it as often as possible. 

 

The world that we live in has been forever changed by the COVID-19 pandemic. But no matter what, one thing is certain, your business must continue to be fluid with how you respond and adapt. If you’re interested in learning more, contact the experts at D3 at 410-213-2400!