Getting a continual flow of five-star, positive, raving reviews is every business owner’s dream. Reviews can be powerful enough to sway a customer in either direction. Getting positive reviews is important because consumers are more likely to try out a new business when the reviews are top-notch.
It’s not hard for businesses to generate positive reviews. Generally speaking, a business will get positive reviews by:
- Going out of their way to provide outstanding customer service
- Issuing refunds without a hassle
- Offering exchanges and paying for shipping both ways
- Providing an exceptionally great product or service
- Making sure customers are satisfied with the product, service, and support
In the new COVID-19 era, however, the game of getting positive reviews has changed. Today, businesses that don’t follow basic safety precautions issued by the CDC are more likely to receive negative reviews.
If you’re running a business during the coronavirus pandemic and you want good reviews, make sure to implement the following changes:
1. Provide barriers between employees and customers
It’s almost impossible to maintain a 6-foot distance no matter what kind of business you run. Protective barriers will help when that distance can’t be maintained. For example, you can place transparent barriers around service desks and booths, and you can hang them from the ceiling to separate customers from cashiers.
Transparent screen barriers are made from a variety of materials. Although plastic is the cheapest material, glass screens provide several advantages. For instance, glass is sturdier, easier to clean, and won’t scuff as easily. Glass screens are also a good way to save money in the long run because you won’t need to replace them as often.
2. Provide masks for patrons
While it should be everyone’s responsibility to provide their own mask, it’s going to take a while for people to get used to this new routine. It’s easy for patrons to leave their mask in the car and not realize it’s missing until they get all the way to your store. Or, just like cloth grocery bags, some people forget to bring a mask entirely.
It’s not your responsibility to hand out masks to your customers, but if you do, your customers will appreciate you even more. If they’ve been hassled for forgetting their mask elsewhere, they’ll jump at the chance to announce that you went out of your way to provide them with a mask rather than denying them service.
3. Provide accommodations for medically-exempt patrons
Businesses are required to honor legitimate requests for a reasonable accommodation made by anyone who cannot wear a mask for medical reasons. However, that doesn’t mean you have to allow people into your store without a mask. It also doesn’t mean you need to honor every accommodation request. Under the law, businesses are not required to honor accommodation requests that would create an “undue hardship” on the business.
Although it’s perfectly legal to prohibit medically-exempt people from entering your business without a mask, it’s good practice to provide alternative options. For example, curbside pickup, online ordering, ordering over the phone, and having someone shop for mask-exempt patrons are all acceptable accommodations.
If the nature of your business makes it difficult to provide accommodations to mask-exempt patrons, and your services are routinely sought by people with medical conditions, you might want to consider changing your policies and procedures. For instance, if you’re running a chiropractic office, many of your clients will be using chiropractic to treat the medical conditions that make them exempt from wearing a mask.
Don’t risk losing your customers. Find a way to accommodate mask-exempt people so they can continue receiving their therapies.
4. Provide hand sanitizer at your store entrance
The more you help your patrons stay safe, the happier they’ll be with your services. Provide hand sanitizer at all of your store entrances for patrons to use as they enter the building. They’ll appreciate not having to reach into their purse or pocket to find a travel size bottle of Purell or realize they’ve left it in the car.
You could even require patrons to sanitize their hands upon entry. This requirement might make a few people upset, but they’ll at least be thankful that other people are also required to sanitize their hands.
Be willing to ask for reviews
COVID-19 or not, be willing to ask for reviews. Whether in person or through email, let your patrons know you’d appreciate a good review on sites like Yelp or Trust Pilot when they get a chance.