Read our practical advice for tourism businesses, to help you and your customers during the Coronavirus pandemic.
Over the past three weeks the team at Visit Lincolnshire have spoken to a lot of people in different business. Everyone has been tackling the problems they face in different ways. So, we thought we’d bring it all together to share with you. Some things you may already be doing; others, ideas you may like to try.
Many businesses already sell gift vouchers but, for those who don’t, consider creating some for customers to buy now. They’re ideal for presents for birthday’s or thank you gifts, and can range from an overnight stay to a cup of coffee and cake. If you have a website, add them to your online store; if you don’t, can you set up a system via email or phone for people to place their orders? Promote these through social media channels, and encourage customers to buy ahead for birthdays and special occasions.
If customers can’t come to you, can you deliver to customers? Some restaurants and cafes are offering a delivery service on meals to homes and even local B&Bs. Worried they won’t stay warm? Frozen meals are also a great idea, especially for those who are unable to leave the house. If you’re a retailer, can you increase your online offering, or add a little extra such as free gift wrapping.
If you’re uncertain how high demand will be for events such as Bank Holidays etc. why not set up a pre-order system now. You’ll know stock levels required to fulfil the minimum demand, and customers will want the opportunity to plan ahead and ensure they can still get the treats they want to buy.
If you’re still open to the public, encourage people to use card payments to minimise cash handling.
Promote neighbouring businesses
Support each other and be kind. Make your street a destination, so people don’t have to travel far to find the supplies they need. Are there other ways you can support one another? Can your delivery driver to offer drop off other businesses products too, to limit how many staff are travelling? Can you combine products together, and offer a more convenient package for the customer?
Offer essential items
If supermarkets are running low on popular items, can you buy something similar from local suppliers to offer customers?
Encourage customers to return
Offer a discount for returning customers. Send an email after a stay or online purchase, or include a leaflet in a takeaway delivery bag offering 10% off their next purchase.
Keep your staff up to date
Make sure your staff know what possibilities are ahead. It’s a difficult time for many people but letting people know all possible outcomes can people plan ahead. Scenario mapping is a useful tool to make sure you’re prepared as possible for all eventualities.
Update your customers
Let your customers know what’s happening too. If you decide to close make sure you put this on social media, along with a note on your door, so customers aren’t making unnecessary journeys.