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Don’t Scare Your Customers as
They Come Back

And other tips for making your online reopening
messages on-brand.

Article by
Luke Meyer
Digital Director
Young & Laramore
Placeholder Image? We are re open edited

As businesses reopen (or RE-reopen) customers are going to be looking for the information they need to come back. We want to make sure they can see that right away when they search for us online or visit our websites and social channels. So we can just put up a big “We’re open” sign, made from whatever we have lying around, and call it a day, right?

While that may work, you need to think about how that message on its own affects your customer’s perception.

We interrupt this message to bring you... this message

When building our websites, we are always thinking about conversions, reducing friction and not creating roadblocks. We can’t forget those, even in this most special of special cases. Putting up a popup that declares “WE’RE OPEN !!! 🎆🎉” may get your primary message across, but it’s still something that customers need to pass through. Your website has been directing people to the content that you want them to see all along, through design and optimization efforts. Now is the time to let that work do its work, not get preempted by a popup or banner.

Business as (un)usual

Double-check your messages to make sure they feel like a part of your brand. You may think you don’t have enough time to create and review for brand tone and design standards, but that process is exactly what will help make your customers feel comfortable coming back.

When we think “What will get our users’ attention?” we may look to the real-world examples of warning signs: high-visibility colors, bold type and truncated messaging. While these may get attention quickly, they may also cause anxiety or stress. Here are two (hypothetical) online messages telling customers about new safety measures in place but using techniques that say completely different things.

The first, while certainly attention-getting, conveys a panic response using yellow, ALL CAPS and an exclamation. It feels like this brand has scrambled to respond and may be more haphazard in their new measures. The second is in the brand tone, using standard brand colors and visuals and actually contains more information for the user before clicking through. This feels like how we all may feel, it’s the new normal and we have adapted, maybe it took us a while to figure out how to proceed, but it is figured out now and just part of our everyday business.

“Hi, I was just calling to see if you’re open.”

Even if you present a calm, clear message on your website or social channels detailing what your customers should expect (and what you expect of your customers) you should expect to get more questions than you may be accustomed to. As you’re developing your content, make sure to include very clear ways for your customers to get in touch and ask questions, whether that’s a phone number, online chat or email. Make it clear where they can reach out, and how long they can expect to wait for a response.

“Verify info with this place, Hours or services may differ due to COVID-19"

Even if your customers don’t make it to your website, you can still help them feel like you’re ready (or getting ready) to welcome them back. That comes through your search presence, specifically maps and business listings. Marking your business as “temporarily closed” on Google is a quick and clear message to your customer that you know what you’re doing and you’ll be back strong. Updating your hours and posting to your business listing also send strong signals that you’re ready to be open again. And while the exact features may differ, you should update as many of your listings as you can.

Here are the links to the top 4, but if you know your customers are finding you somewhere else, make sure you update that as well.

Good luck and have a joyous customer reunion. (From a reasonable distance apart.)

Luke Meyer, Digital Director at Y&L

Luke leads Y&L’s digital team, where he stays up-to-date on the latest platforms and gives his insight to advance digital projects to their greatest potential.