I just got back from a week of business travel. I knew I had to wear a mask as much as possible while still getting work done. As much as I enjoyed the change of scenery, thinking about the COVID-19 threat is still discomforting. Airports, planes, hotels, Ubers and dining out all presented their unique challenges to keep safe.
Some of my interactions along the way left me feeling confident, and others not at all. While businesses can’t control the behavior of their customers, they can communicate what they are doing to prevent the illness from spreading.
Winners and Losers
Here are some of the winners along my journey:
- Uber. In the app I was told that the driver was wearing a mask, and I was expected to, also.
- Hotels. With so many touch points in a hotel room there’s good reason to be unnerved. I would have appreciated (or expected) signage in the room explaining the precautions the hotel has taken to disinfect between guests.
- Airports. This is one place where you can’t over-communicate. Keep in mind that at least half of the visitors are from out of state. I didn’t know the mask law, rules or guidelines. Of course I wear a mask, but others didn’t. I didn’t know if the non-mask wearers were being jerks or not.
- Airplane. I flew American Airlines and they were very clear that passengers must wear a face covering for the duration of the flight. Everyone complied.
Get the Word Out
What are you doing to let your customers know you’re making it safe to do business with you? I recommend getting specific, beyond “enhanced cleaning protocols,” which tells me nothing. Use social media to show your efforts, your employees, and your commitment. Customers want to be as safe as possible and are open to trying somewhere new if it means they’ll feel safe. Use testimonials, pictures and captions to get the word out.
After a long trip there’s no place like home. Do your part to make your business welcoming to both new and returning customers. Stay safe and wear your mask!