News, notes and features from the Tahoe Chamber

Best Practices While Operating Amidst COVID-19

  Tahoe Chamber  |   July 7, 2020   |   Community News

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In this new era of sanitizers, social distancing, and safety regulations, operating a business has taken on many new challenges. Businesses must now communicate to and monitor their staff and customers to make sure they are in compliance. To complicate the situation, many businesses are seeing push back from customers on their precautions, which causes a dilemma for owners who need sales but who also want to protect themselves, their workers, and their other customers.

Here are some tips to help customers understand and follow the new rules, and how to handle the situation properly in the event they refuse.

Share Your Policies with Customers in Advance

Communication is the key to defusing a situation before it happens. Businesses should convey their new hours and policies on their websites and social media channels to help prepare customers for what’s expected. Due to all the changes throughout the pandemic, customers are much more likely to check out a business online before arriving. This can also make your more cautious customers comfortable.

Prepare Your Employees

The unprecedented nature of this pandemic makes it difficult for your staff to know how to respond correctly to new situations. Once procedures are established, make sure your employees understand them, can relay them to customers, and feel comfortable defending them. After all, they will be voice of the business when you are not present.

Have a Backup Plan

Even with all your precautions in place, having a backup plan can help defuse a situation. An example of this would be to offer curbside pickup, direct a customer to an online website, or offer your services over a video call or email. Placing the decision in the customer’s hands can help alleviate the tension.

Where to Draw the Line

These new policies do have some gray area, and you will often need to use your discretion when enforcing them. It is important to understand when you may need to lose the business of a customer in order to comply with your safety rules and put the well being of others first. This decision is a difficult, but important one, and will set the precedent for the remaining customers.

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