2014 has started off with an arctic blast in the Midwest, leaving many people holed up in their homes for the past few days due to snow and bitter cold. So what do you do if your business depends on foot traffic but you are not sure if you want to, or can, open?
First of all, you want to weigh the decision against safety of your employees and your customers. If you are offering a life-and-death service, you probably need to remain open. But if your business can afford to be closed during a day in which it is literally dangerous to be out, then communicate to everyone from your employees to your customers what you plan to do. And when we say what you can afford, we mean financially afford and if your service is a nice-to-have service and and not a must-have service. The cost of opening may be more than remaining closed if you get no customers.
The beauty of communication today is that there are so many ways to communicate to your customers about your status. In the old days, you may have hung a sign on your door. Today, your virtual door includes social media, your web site, emails, and even your voice mails. And your customers use all the doors.
The Achilles heel of most businesses, large and small, is communication. Talk to your customers across all these media points. They may surprise you in how they listen and communicate back to you. Keep the conversation going with them, communicate as effectively as you can, and see how appreciative they can be. Show them you care with your actions and your communication. You may generate some goodwill that you didn’t expect.
Happy new year!