Parramatta’s experience of the pandemic has put local businesses in a strong position to celebrate the summer as they have emerged from this most difficult phase with new strategies to attract customers.

Smart hospitality and retail businesses have developed customer friendly strategies over the past few months that have encouraged customer loyalty and resulted in new business.

Realise Business Advisors have put together a number of helpful tips so you can safely take advantage of that irreplaceable Christmas holiday season buzz!

Tips for hospitality, food and beverage businesses

As well as compulsory COVID Safe Check-Ins that commenced on 23 November 2020, hospitality businesses will boost customer confidence with good systems and helpful communications.

Managing distancing requirements, including bookings, spacing COVID check-ins, contact data and excellent in-house cleanliness are important tasks for your business. Make sure you use phone calls, your website and social media channels to explain and forewarn customers about important changes.

COVID safety and general OH&S are more important than ever. Complying with the COVID-safe checklist is a great start to reassuring your customers that you value their safety.

Advertise that you are open for business during the Christmas break

Informing customers and clients of your opening hours over the Christmas break is a simple way to enhance your success during the summer months. Clear and consistent messaging about opening hours via your website, social media, shopfront window and verbal interactions will go a long way towards customers feeling confident about their plans to shop, dine or spend money.

‘We’re open for business’ communications can incorporate other points that customers need to know about when they book with you. Letting your customers know where they can park and for how long, for example, is valued information.

If your establishment is open for children, then that is a selling point you should project. Remember, more and more families will be wanting to dine out together due to recent isolation periods. Communicate what you have in place in terms of a children’s menu and child-friendly activities – it is important to make sure everyone feels welcome!

Make it easy for customers to get in touch

While your communications can anticipate many customer concerns, making it easy for them to get in touch with you is also vital.

Ensure you have a clear voicemail message if you cannot get to the phone to answer customer queries. Make sure your recorded message details opening times and key instructions for bookings or parking.

Returning calls – promptly – will enhance customer relations too. These calls are opportunities for customers to ask questions about service offerings and for your staff to inform them of safety protocols, special services and great holiday offers.

Tips for retail businesses

In retail as well as hospitality, developing and promoting the right high-quality health and safety practices is essential for preserving customer cheer and goodwill over the holidays.

In-store safety measures to implement and communicate to customers include:

  • Allowing one customer per 4 square metres
  • Supplying hand sanitizer for use on arrival
  • Ensuring staff regularly wipe down hard surfaces and door handles throughout the day

Safe Work Australia also has free printable posters that could be displayed in-store to remind customers of social distancing and health and safety measures, while reflecting your commitment to keeping your customers safe.

Customers will appreciate the steps you take to keep them safe and informed this summer, so it makes good business sense to get it right.