How to adopt best practices to keep customers’ employees safe.
Conducting business during the coronavirus has been challenging across all industries, and micro markets are no exception. Stay-at-home orders and social distancing have altered the marketplace. And micro markets now face stiff competition from online ordering and food delivery.
While operators are well aware of their obligation to provide food that’s safe to eat, helping customers stay safe when they have limited contact with their customers’ employees is a unique challenge. Micro market operators should do what they can to motivate their customers and their employees to be especially vigilant about safety and hygiene.
Operators can make their micro markets an oasis of shopping safety by following these four tips.
1. Maximize the use of contactless payments.
Realizing that cash, like other everyday objects, may transfer the coronavirus, customers are turning to alternative payment methods. Operators should make enabling contactless payments a priority.
Why contactless payments? According to NMI, a white label payment gateway solutions provider, such technologies reduce the spread of germs and infectious diseases such as COVID-19 and decrease the time needed to purchase food and beverages.
2. Post signage to remind employees of safety precautions.
Remind customers’ employees to limit physical contact—both through social distancing and by avoiding touching products that they don’t intend to purchase. While social media campaigns and coronavirus news conferences have made social distancing a familiar term, placing signage within micro markets can further encourage people to maintain 6 feet between them and others. Another helpful step: Post reminders on refrigerators and shelving asking people to touch only the items they plan to purchase.
If you choose to use signs, make sure their messaging is as clear and eye-catching as possible. As Accuform, a facility safety identification materials manufacturer, noted in a white paper that speaks to the value of workplace signage: “Signage is proactive: It alerts and warns workers before hazards are encountered.”
3. Maintain and encourage frequent sanitation.
Additional cleaning measures are required during the coronavirus pandemic. The National Grocers Association recommends placing hand sanitizer stations at micro markets and having frontline employees use personal protective equipment, if these supplies are available.
How you clean has changed, but when you clean may need to change too. For example, the Army & Air Force Exchange Service’s micro market vendor only restocks the quarantined micro market area when troops are absent.
4. Keep in contact with customers.
Communication about any problems that arise is key in business—especially during a crisis. Customers may have questions about the safety practices you’re implementing, and they may have additional recommendations to increase safety.
For example, some micro market locations may be suitable for audible prompts for employees, such as the audible social distancing reminder tool developed by Indyme. Such technology may be distracting in other office environments, however, so consult each customer about which methods of encouraging safety practices are ideal.
Providing the best customer service—in all circumstances
Remember that taking steps to provide the best customer service, even during this exceedingly stressful time, will build and maintain the trust you share with your customers.
Looking for more ways to satisfy consumers buying from convenience services in these uncertain times?
Find additional strategies here.