I couldn't help but notice how different restaurants and shops responded to the 'new normal' .
And it was obvious which companies put new guidance in place with customers in mind.
On one hand there are places making the experience as pleasant as they possibly can.
And then there are ones making the whole experience feel like military operation. Giving orders and treating customers like two year olds who cannot make decisions for themselves. It's sad that despite the hardship and struggles those companies have gone through and are potentially facing they are forgetting about the most important aspect of their business - the customer.
What inspired me to write this article is a recent visit to a well known pub at the end of a country walk. It was on our list of places to visit for some time however I don't think I will be going back.
From the time we entered the pub we got a list of orders, "Follow the Arrows, One Way only and if you want to use the bathroom you have to wait until I let you out". It was a hot day and the suncream together with sweat run into my eyes. Our personal waitress told us to let her know if we need to visit the bathroom so she can ensure we can get out. Unfortunately she was busy talking to her colleagues. I couldn't wait any longer so made my way out to wait for the waiter who 'welcomed us' in. He was busy with his clipboard. The longer I stood there with my eyes stinging I started to feel like a child - no one is here, I'm going without permission. It felt awful... after my return more orders came in to take the drinks off the tray, don't go near other tables...This place might have stopped the spread of the virus by I'm just not sure how many people will be back, paying for being made feel like incompetent human beings.
How did your business respond to the new normal? Have you put new guidelines in with the customer in mind? Have you done a customer journey to ensure your customers will come back whether it's during restrictions or when we get back to 'normal normal'?
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