The Negative Impact of Response Versus Reaction

Have you considered how your reaction to COVID-19 is negatively impacting your brand experience?

As an immediate and necessary response to the current pandemic, many businesses have had to react quickly to implement a whole raft of temporary measures to guide their customers and staff on restrictions and how to use their spaces.

This includes signs with what you can do, what you can’t, taped crosses, floor stickers, cordoned off entrances, and information heavy temporary signs everywhere.

The individual interpretation of the guidelines by businesses even within the same space is quite varied and there is little consistency to help visitors know what to expect and how to act intuitively without having to read all of the signs or understand all the specific instructions.

Another alarming variation is in language and tone of voice of these temporary signs and even the spoken instructions from staff. Think overly negative language, complicated pictograms with big red crosses, and gruff staff sick of repeating instructions.

Although this is a new issue that we are all doing our best to manage, we need to consider the effect that this new addition to our spaces is having on our customer experience and their interaction with our brand.

If a shop entry and restrictions looks intimidating, the potential customer may just walk away or go somewhere where they feel more at ease. If a staff member is a bit short with them when giving instructions, they may get online and vent. If a workplace is over-run by home-made signs full of instructions, staff may just tune out all together and ignore the important messages.

The impact on the individual’s connection with your brand may shift. Irreparably.

Thankfully we are moving towards less restriction here in Queensland, but there is still a level of responsibility to provide spaces that respect people’s need for social distancing, hygiene and to feel safe.

But when I look around I see many businesses are still in reactionary mode.

Now is the time to shift into a more strategic response.

It’s time to check our customer journey, the working environment and the language we are using to show we care and reflect our brand values, so we are in control of our brand experience in the new normal.