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Jessica Quiroga - 05.27.2020

COVID-19 Reopening Communication Plan Checklist

As businesses begin to reopen their doors across the country, one of the major concerns they are faced with is how to effectively communicate reopening, and health/safety policies and procedures to their customers.  

 

There is no one-size-fits-all approach on how to handle communication during this time. To be successful and set expectations with customers, it is imperative to have a communications plan in place to fit your customer’s needs.

 

Before you reopen: 


  • Prepare a communication plan to announce the reopening


  • Inform customers on how the business plans to follow health/safety policies and procedures


  • Explain how your business operations have evolved

 

Businesses that demonstrate responsiveness, attention to managing customer service needs and implementation of proper social distancing will have greater success during this time. We’ve put together a checklist of recommendations to ensure you are effectively communicating across your various channels and instilling trust and confidence amongst your customer base.

 

Craft a unifying message for various channels 


Create a unifying message to publish across various channels to ensure effective and consistent communication to help you maintain customer trust, restore employee morale and confidence.


Update your website’s homepage


  • Update your website homepage to have reopening plans and protocols front and center when your customers search for you

  • Setup chatbots to display an automated message recapping the most relevant information and to help answer customer questions

  • List your contact details prominently to allow customers to easily contact you

  • Use pop-ups and/or sitewide banners to showcase updated and important information


Create a landing page for COVID-19 information & updates

  • Create a landing page to house all COVID-19 related information and updates as it pertains to your business. Content ideas for your landing page: 
     
  • Provide transparency into the health and safety procedures (for both customers and employees) you've implemented or are planning to implement. If your business is listed on 3rd party sites you’ll want to update the information and messaging there as well.

  • Highlight operation hours and explain how your business operations have changed. Include as much detail around these new procedures and the “how” so no questions are left unanswered. Ideas to consider:


  • Limiting visitor numbers

  • Business time slots

  • Entry/Exit Points

  • Increased cleaning procedures

  • Social distancing and maintaining 6ft apart

  • Visitor rules & expectations upon arrival 


  • Anticipate questions customers will have and address them in an FAQ section on the landing page. Ideas to consider:


  • How can I get a refund?

  • Do you offer curbside or takeout?

  • Can I reschedule my appointment?


  • Pro Tip: Add a sitewide banner that links to this page so site visitors can instantly access this information from your homepage, preferably above the fold.
     

Update your Google My Business Account


  • Update your Google My Business account to reflect COVID-19 updates and hours of operation, as well as if you are offering curbside, dine-in, and delivery. Details on how to implement on Google My Business account are outlined here.


  • Regularly monitor customer feedback to keep a pulse on customer sentiment and expectations


Utilize email to share information


  • Use email to communicate with your customer database safety/health procedures and policies, hours of operation, and how business operations have changed to set expectations. Brands doing it well: Sephora, Starbucks, Taco Bell 


  • Allow site visitors to subscribe to your newsletter to receive regular updates on new procedures and hours of operation


  • Reiterate your procedures on transactional touchpoints (i.e. ticket receipt (email or printed), menus, signage, etc.)


Use social and text message/SMS to communicate real-time updates


  • Provide your followers with real-time updates on hours of operation, how customers can purchase (curbside, delivery, etc.), policy and procedures you are following to keep customers and employees safe. Brands doing it well: Krispy Kreme, Target, Superica Tex Mex, McDonalds


  • Utilize social platforms to share promotions, giveaways or online tutorials to continue to engage your audience virtually


  • Use SMS marketing to share updates and stay in touch with customers via text message to communicate your reopening plans


  • Share updates using push and in-app notifications to reach customers quickly and instantly.


Set up your customer service team for success


  • Prepare your customer service team and make them aware of your communication plan so they know how to address customer’s concerns and can be prepared to answer customer questions.


Once you set your plan into motion, continue to update content regularly to stay top of mind and monitor reviews to see how you can continue to refine your communications plan as we continue to navigate this new norm. 


 

To learn more about how Sagepath can help you with your COVID-19 Communication Plans email us at hello@sagepath.com