Life is returning to normal, thankfully, albeit different.

Businesses are reopening: pubs, restaurants, museums, offices, shops… this is A Good Thing. But it’s different from before, and business owners are taking very different approaches to their responsibilities.

The Luma team have been out and about on their summer hols (socially distanced and adhering to all requirements of course) and we’ve really noticed the impact these different approaches can have on the customer experience.

People are nervous. Customers, passers-by, retail and service staff, business owners. The regulations are complex and don’t always allow for common sense or complex situations. Please, be kind and patient. We’re all just figuring it out.

There are new signs EVERYWHERE. Go this way, do this, don’t do that, stop, wash your hands, wrong way, please sanitise, wear a mask. The noise can be overwhelming.

Here are our top tips on how to do it well:

Less is more. Use the environment – natural clues – to point people gently along the right path. Try not to clutter the space that’s available. Only use directional signs where really needed.

Use the space you have. Plastic screens have a role to play here. Are they intrusive or discrete? Do they create a sense of privacy or do they make your reception area, office space or restaurant feel like a hazmat tent? Could people simply face the other way instead?

Think carefully about your messaging. Are you making people feel welcome or worried? We have hurried past shops and restaurants that have covered their door in warning signs, and stepped gratefully into more welcoming establishments in our efforts to #EatOutToHelpOut

You don’t have to do it all yourself. There are lots of templates and good examples out there. Last month for example, our client Placemarque put together a good set of warm, positive posters for people to download.

Be light-hearted. Use humour, warmth, puns. You can be safe AND welcoming. We are all frightened by the pandemic; using the toilet shouldn’t be even more terrifying.

But most of all, in the words of Caroline Flack, in a world where you can be anything, be kind.

Go for it.

 

 

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