The COVID-19 Reopening Strategy and Checklist for Multi-Location Brands
- Responding to customers during reopening will show customers you care and provide a chance to address negative feedback.
- Listings are one of the first touchpoints consumers have with businesses in their search for businesses and products.
- 98% of people use at least four social media channels today.
The CDC recently gave guidance allowing vaccinated individuals from separate households to gather indoors without masks. Multiple states across the nation including Texas, Arizona, New York, and California, have already started or planned for reopening. As parts of the U.S. continue to move into the next stages of reopening, multi-location brands need to ensure they’re providing accurate and up-to-date information to consumers at this time. We’ve curated a list of important steps your business can take to keep customers engaged and informed for reopening.
Update Your Local Business Listings
Listings are one of the first touchpoints consumers have with businesses in their search for businesses and products. Review your business listings across tier 1 directories to ensure your information is accurate and up-to-date. Take advantage of any COVID-19 special features, such as Google’s COVID-19 Posts, to keep customers informed with the latest news. Here are the biggest COVID-19 local search features your business needs to leverage or update:
Google My Business (GMB)
- Google Posts: COVID-19 Google Posts are a great way to highlight your business reopening. You can use COVID-19 Google Posts to discuss COVID-19 related changes that consumers need to be aware of. Read more about how your business can fully optimize your GMB profile with Google Posts in our guide here.
- COVID-19 Attributes: Take a moment to update or add any COVID-19 related attributes such as “curbside pickup”, “takeout”, “in-store pickup”, “delivery”, “no-contact delivery”, “dine-in”, and “in-store shopping”. Read more for the full list of GMB attributes.
- Secondary Hours: Certain industries can add secondary hours for specific categories such as drive-through, senior hours, delivery hours, visiting hours, takeout hours, and pick-up hours. If you’ve already implemented these hours, do a quick scan to make sure your local secondary hours on GMB are still accurate or exist. Get the full update on how to update your business hours on GMB here.
- Yelp Waitlist – Yelp Waitlist helps restaurants prepare for reopening by allowing guests to waitlist online and avoid large crowds. Yelp recently added two new features to Yelp Waitlist that will help restaurants monitor seating capacity and manually adjust wait time estimates.
- Yelp COVID-19 Advisory Alert – Businesses can use Yelp’s COVID-19 Advisory Alert to communicate that their business has now opened. This feature can also be used as a communication banner to update customers on take-out or delivery options, hours of operation, and extra precautions being taken.
- COVID-19 Attributes
- Social distancing enforced
- Sanitizing between customers
- Staff wears masks / Staff wears gloves
- Hand sanitizer available
- Limited Capacity
- Contactless payment available
- Temperature checks enforced
- Masks required for customers
- COVID-19 Features – Bing’s COVID-19 features, can help your businesses alert consumers about special announcements, GoFundMe campaigns, and special hours.
Update Your Local Pages and FAQ Pages
Since rules and regulations vary across the state for reopening, local store pages are the perfect place to provide your customers with need-to-know information about that specific location. You should leverage Local Pages to share knowledge about products and services available, policies, local social links, and other localized content.
With Chatmeter’s Local Pages, you can rapidly build 1,000s of local pages for your multi-location brand. These local pages are customizable to your brand and have open API integrations, review widgets, analytics, and can easily be managed from Chatmeter’s dashboard.
It’s likely that consumers will have common questions about your business and its reopening. Your FAQ page is a great place to address these questions and share information about any COVID-19 protocols that have been or will be implemented. Here are some common COVID-19 related topics that your business should address:
- Current or new COVID-19 restrictions in place
- New safety and policy changes
- Changes in offerings
- Changes in shipping or inventory
Create Local Social Campaigns
98% of people use at least four social media channels today. Prior to COVID-19, people were already spending a lot of time on social media – whether it’s for entertainment, business news, education, inspiration, and more. Today, we live in a world where social media has become even more heavily integrated into our daily lives since the onset of COVID-19. This is great news for businesses because it means there’s a unique opportunity for brands to connect and build relationships with consumers. However, this also presents another challenge because more competitors and brands are vying for consumer attention.
If you want to successfully drive consumers to your multi-location brand during reopening, it is a must to create local social campaigns on your local social profiles. Here are important pieces of information to share with your local community:
- Exact dates and times of reopening
- Updated business hours
- Capacity availabilities
- New services or products
- New guidelines, safety policies, or procedures
In addition to sharing this important information, make sure to get creative! As mentioned before, your competitors will be trying to get your target audience’s attention. Getting creative will help you stand out among your competitors and attract new customers. Create specials, deals, promotions, contests, giveaways, and more. This will keep your audience engaged and get them excited to return to your store.
Respond to Google Q&A and Reviews
Proactively responding to customer feedback is an integral part of a great customer experience, especially during reopening. Responding to reviews during reopening will show customers you care and provide a chance to address negative feedback. In addition, many customers will be asking several questions on your Google Q&A. Since anyone can answer questions on Google Q&A, it’s essential to provide a brand-verified response first to avoid misinformation.
Reviews and Google Q&A will be one of the first stops your customers will make to get more insight into a business or provide direct feedback. As your store reopens, it’s critical for your brand to review this information to see if there are areas of improvement to be made during reopening. Although reopening your business is an exciting time, you’re also prone to making more mistakes and changes that can affect the customer experience. Maybe your customers thought wait times were too long or your business’s new guidelines created a less than smooth purchasing experience. Whatever the issue is, monitoring all customer feedback will help you quickly resolve any issues or make improvements.
Check On Your Omnichannel Experiences
In an effort to keep up with COVID-19, nearly all businesses have implemented omnichannel experiences such as contactless payment services, buy online pick up in store (BOPUS), and more. For example, many restaurant brands had to adapt their dine-in experience with contactless deliveries – but services like these may not be as necessary once restrictions are lifted. It’s important to think about whether these services were efficient or came with problems.
Unfortunately, the harsh reality is that many of these omnichannel investments may not result in the seamless shopping experience brands are hoping for. The addition of omnichannel services comes along with challenges such as poor mobile experiences, inconsistent service capabilities, and other issues. Now is a good time to take a look at your omnichannel investments to see what services truly are helping to create an exceptional experience, and which services are not delivering like you had hoped.
Reviews are a great source of insight when it comes to identifying how customers feel about your omnichannel services. You can check through your reviews to see if any customers are discussing issues with your omnichannel experiences, whether it’s issues about service delays or problems ordering through your mobile app. With Pulse, your brand can easily scan through thousands of reviews to get instant insight on any of your omnichannel experiences. Our tool allows you to filter through reviews with common keywords such as “long wait times” or “poor service” to identify any missing gaps in your customer experience. Checking on these omnichannel experiences will help your brand know what services will keep customers happiest throughout your reopening and in the future.
Taking the time to communicate with customers and provide accurate business information will help your business go a long way in reopening successfully. These steps will ensure that consumers will have a great experience with your business and encourage them to visit your business. If you’d like to see how Chatmeter can help your business optimize your reputation management and local SEO strategy in preparation for reopening, speak to one of our experts today.Book a Chatmeter Demo