How to Maintain Your Brand Loyalty in COVID and Beyond

A brand often goes beyond messaging, taglines, and visuals. Often times your actions can affect your business now and beyond. Your brand is who you are. One of the biggest questions we are facing right now is how to continuously keep ourselves and those around us safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The importance of safety has drastically changed the way businesses must run in order to be successful during these times. The efforts an establishment makes to keep its employees and customers safe says a lot about the business’s brand.

Keep Displaying Protocols

Safety tips on covid-19 pandemic vector by Zubada

A major way to show that you care about your employees and customers is keeping them safe. One way of doing this is having clear safety protocols showcased throughout your establishment. Rules limiting guests, mask mandates, and social distancing guidelines show that you are putting the safety of your customers at the highest priority. This builds a sense of trust between the customers and your business. If they can safely shop and dine at your establishment, they are sure to return. The pandemic has changed how businesses operate. For instance, in restaurants, booths and tables are closed off in an attempt to keep everyone safe and distanced. A lot of establishments have switched to paper menus or QR codes which gets rid of highly touched menus. Hand sanitizer stations and increased cleaning of highly touched areas are also seen in a lot of places. It is important to keep your employees and customers safe by implementing and showcase these protocols.

Consider Employee Safety

How you take care of your internal customers can say a lot about a brand. As for employees, people want to feel safe when they are coming into work. Before the pandemic, it was typical for employees to go through extensive training. Now, this type of training has changed into implementing safety protocols. Customers can tell when businesses are not taking care of their employees. It says a lot about a business that does not put effort into keeping its employees safe. Going against rules and safety regulations will turn away customers. For instance, an employee at a pizza restaurant in Beloit was not feeling well and the manager made them come in anyways. This careless act caused the employee to put himself and others at major risk. The employee, unfortunately, lost their life. That caused a lot of people to not support a company that does not value its employees. Without your employees, your business cannot run. Take care of them and make an effort to keep them safe.

Think About Your Customers

Switching gears to a customer standpoint, we are now faced with the question of how we can get customers to actually engage with safety protocols. An important part of a brand is considering consumer behavior. Remember your customers want to be safe. For example, if you’re a restaurant, you may want to consider keeping your bathroom open so your customers can wash their hands before eating their food. Also, if a business decides to close its bathroom to the public, customers are unable to wash their hands. Of course, you can put out hand sanitizing stations, but for a restaurant, washing your hands before you eat can prevent someone from getting sick. The issue for businesses is to balance the differing needs of customers with the safety of employees. It is important to understand varying behaviors and how you want to be accommodating and keep your customers safe.

Keep ALL your Customers in Mind

Different customers have different needs. Some customers have different sensory processing that can make wearing a mask overwhelming. Because of these differences, it is important to let those with health problems know they are being accommodated for. According to the CDC, it’s important to have protocols that consider the Americans with Disabilities Act in mind. While these have been unprecedented times, keeping safe is important. It is important to be respectful of differences. Not doing so can be harmful to a brand and create negative public opinion about your business.

Lead by Example

At the end of the day you are still a brand and your actions will define you even beyond the pandemic. All in all, safety is one of the biggest points on both customers’ and businesses’ checklists. Businesses need to lead by example. What we’re seeing is this pendulum of considering customer’s differing needs and keeping employees safe. Instead of closing their bathrooms, some businesses have locked them and have placed signs on the door saying to ask an employee for access. This notifies the employees that someone is using the bathroom and that after the customer leaves, it can be cleaned properly. People not following safety protocols watching other people follow them will most likely get them to start following them. A behavior change normally comes from seeing other people lead by example or learning from their behaviors. Another cordial effort businesses are doing is providing masks for those who enter without one. This effort shows that you value their business while also wanting to keep your employees safe.

Final Thoughts

Now more than ever, we need to look out for each other. Take the steps to evaluate the safety protocols your business wants to implement and make sure they are keeping your employees and customers safe.

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