Very best of luck if you are reopening your business today or this week and you’re welcoming back customers. I’m not sure which I’m more excited about… Going to the pub or getting my hair cut!
Of course, this is good news for your team too, and the first steps to getting back to some kind of normality.
But this is just the beginning, and what you can learn from these first few days back will stand you in good stead as your team (and customers) return over the coming weeks.
Here are 7 tips to help this go smoothly with your reopening.
1. Tune in
Keep your ears and eyes open and observe your team in action. See for yourself what’s working and what’s not. But, just as importantly, look out for any signs of stress, friction amongst the team, or where things aren’t running smoothly.
2. Talk to your customers
Capture feedback from your customers. Find out what they loved (so you can do more of the same) and what was confusing, disappointing or made them feel uncomfortable, so you can address these. Do this now while their emotions are still running high from their experience.
Many of your customers may be new, visiting you for the first time. Get them engaged to increase the likelihood of a return visit. Follow up with them to show you appreciate their business, and use this as an opportunity to let them know what you have planned for the weeks ahead.
3. Thank You
Show you appreciate your team. Thank them for any extra hours or effort they’ve put in to make your opening a success.
A thank you and an acknowledgement of a job well done is far more sincere if you’re specific about what you’re recognising. So, say what it is about their actions that you appreciate. It might be spotting them doing something that shows you they’ve made an extra effort, helped a colleague, gone out of their way to help a customer, or used their initiative to get over a challenge.
4. Team feedback
Ask for feedback from your team members. Involve everyone in your review process as they’ll often be aware of things you’ve missed.
Ask 3 questions:
- What went well for them?
- What didn’t work and needs attention tomorrow, next week or with phase 2 of reopening?
- What did they find difficult or where they struggled to meet customers’ expectations?
Accept feedback with good grace, and thank them for an honest response, and agree how you will address any concerns.
5. Near misses
It’s inevitable not everything will have gone according to plan or mishaps happened. Review the things that have not gone so well. Listen to your team and flush out any other potential risky situations, particularly if they have the potential to impact the team or customer service.
Rather than dwelling on the negatives, reflect on what you and the team have learnt from these events.
Even if you think it was a one off and unlikely to happen again your team might be aware of other ‘near misses’ or situations that are almost an accident waiting to happen!
Agree what steps you can take to avoid them or minimise their impact, so they are confident they will be better prepared next time!
6. Celebrate and share successes.
Celebrate what’s gone well and create a buzz for the day, week and month ahead!
Continue to set mini goals so you and your team all see some quick wins, and keep the momentum going.
7. Play from a 10
The way you feel emotionally will influence the feelings of people around you.
Being confident, enthusiastic and energetic might not always rub off on everyone else, but if you’re not, you can’t really expect your team to be either!
If you only do one thing – take some time out this week to sit down with your team and reflect what lessons you can take from the first few days of reopening.