In this 5-minute read:
- 9 tips to ease your customers’ fears during COVID
As the pandemic continues to loom over the United States and many areas are experiencing a second wave of increased COVID cases, there’s a lot that businesses can do to provide comfort and peace of mind to their customers.
Even with all of the chaos and uncertainty the coronavirus pandemic has caused, people still need basic home services like plumbing, HVAC services, cleaning, painting, renovations, etc. And if your business provides in-home local services, then this article is for you.
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Ways that you can help your customers feel more comfortable when they use your services
There are several ways that you can help ease your customers’ fears and leave them with the peace of mind knowing that you are doing everything you can to keep them safe when you enter their home.
Reduce physical interaction and increase physical distance
Reassure your customers that your employees will keep their distance and limit physical interaction. This means no handshakes, staying 6 feet away from the customer at all times, and limiting the need to physically share items like papers to be signed.
In the way of signing papers for services, your business can email the documents/contracts for the services you are providing before your employees arrive on site. You can have these documents signed electronically or printed, signed, and scanned back over to you. That will remove the need for your customers to touch any items not already in their home.
Wear proper PPE while near and in customers’ homes
Make sure that you are providing your employees with the PPE necessary to keep your customers and employees protected. Require your employees to wear masks, gloves, and foot coverings when they are in a customer’s home.
Be sure to have your employees place the gloves and foot coverings on as they are entering the customer’s home and not well beforehand. This will show the customer that they are putting on clean gloves and foot coverings and not tracking germs that your employees have been exposed to all day into the home.
Also, you might encourage (or even require) your customers to wear a mask. This adds an extra layer of protection for them and your employees. You are within every right to require your customers to wear masks at this time and to refuse services if they won’t.
Do regular temperature and symptom checks for employees that enter customer homes
Let your customers know that employees who have shown symptoms of COVID-19 will not enter their homes. Perform regular temperature checks for employees before they go out on a service call and ask your employees to inform you of any COVID-like symptoms if they experience any.
Schedule a time to perform the service while the customer is away
If your customer is comfortable with this, see if there’s a time that you can schedule the service while your customer is away from their home. This can prevent sharing the same air and protect your employees from things like coughing and sneezing that you may not have been aware of.
Assure your customer that your employees will wear their PPE to prevent contaminating their home.
Sanitize areas that received the service
Be sure to sanitize any areas that you touch. If your HVAC tech was working on the furnace, have them wipe it down with disinfectant wipes when they’re done. If your plumber worked on the kitchen sink, have them clean off the faucet and pipes that they touched before they leave. Cleaning companies, it’s probably safe to say you’ll be doing this as you go, but pay attention to those places you weren’t contracted to clean that your employees may have touched—like sitting down in a chair or leaning against the wall.
Give your customers that peace of mind that everything will be left better than when your business entered their home.
Provide friendly customer support and service
Many people right now are likely feeling anxious or maybe even that they are lacking the social interaction they need. This is your time to help them feel comfortable not only with the services you provide but in your interactions with each customer.
A friendly face (even covered in a mask) and some engaging conversation might be just the thing that your customer needs that day. Encourage your employees to read the room and engage in conversation with your customers if they start talking to them. It might be the most social interaction they’ve received in a while.
Troubleshoot the problem on the phone or online
Before scheduling an in-home service, try to troubleshoot the problem the customer is facing over the phone or online (of course only if this is relevant to your services). For plumbing or HVAC problems that aren’t dangerous for your customer to diagnose, talk your customer through the problem on the phone and see if it’s something that is small enough they could fix themselves or if you need to get someone on-site.
Use touchless payment options
Another step to help further limit physical interaction is to use touchless payment options. You can email invoices for your customer to pay online, use Paypal or another online payment services provider, or even have them pay over the phone by providing they credit card number.
There are many ways to perform a contact-free payment transaction. Find out which option your customer prefers before performing the service and have your employees be prepared for the transaction.
Check out our guide: Best practices for cash, cashless, chip, and contactless payments during COVID-19
Keep your customers informed
As you are working with a customer to schedule an appointment, and even well before they call, make sure they are aware of the precautions your team is taking to keep them safe.
Share these measures on your website and social media channels. Send them out in email campaigns. And when you do get to the point of scheduling an appointment, reiterate these precautions to the customer in your conversations with them.
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