For quite some time now, I have believed that eventually, after growing weary of the faceless void that is online shopping and, we will return to a time where face to face business will once again thrive. When that time comes, I also believe that social media will lose some of its luster and people would get around to coexisting in person.
And I am convinced that evolution will be jumpstarted just a bit with all of this virus rigamarole (I love that word).
I believe that retail will become retro, like your kids thinking The Doors and Led Zeppelin are cool. We will, either consciously or unconsciously realize that many of our emotional needs only be satisfied through human interaction. I long for that day, but while we are waiting, how about preparing yourself for the return of humans to your business?
They WILL come back, and I think the will come back in droves. They will be looking for what they LIKE about human interaction and hoping to avoid what they do NOT like. Are you and your staff prepared for the ultimate opportunity to build your business around making people feel good about themselves? Now is the perfect time to take an inventory of your assets and liabilities from the standpoint of whether you are a “human friendly” business. Take a look at everything from the physical appearance of your space, to the way your staff has been trained to communicate with each other as well as with customers and guests. Does it feel safe? Would you feel welcome as a customer in your business?
While these are things we should practice every day, life gets in the way of that. Now is the time to take that inventory, decide what your story is, and decide how your story coincides with the stories of your clients, customers, and guests. Your business may or may not be closed right now. If it is, stay connected to your staff so you can have a plan when the doors open again. A plan that includes making your guests feel special, validated, and welcome in your business. You may be doing a great job already, but at least take the time to evaluate yourself and your staff.
When humans return to the streets, even the ones who are more introverted will be eager to connect in some way, and the more opportunities you create for that to happen, the more likely you will thrive in the “Post Virus” economy. Your ability to connect on a deeper level with your customers will b crucial in establishing your business from here on out. This was evident following the economic consequences of 9/11. People returned to businesses both weary but eager to return to normal, and human connection helped them do that. Many businesses that recognized that phenomenon are still successful today. While it sounds like a cliché, it is true. We WILL get through this together.
I would love to hear your stories of how you make your customers feel good at your business. Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell me what you are doing to recognize the importance of real human connection.