Oct 14, 2020 10:06 AM | General News
How to make social distancing easy for your physical business and customers?

The unprecedented spread of the COVID-19 virus has caused ripple effects on businesses, organizations, and the capabilities of their services around the world. This resulted in numerous socioeconomic changes which have altered consumer behaviors as people are now more reluctant to shop in physical locations. 

The pandemic has upended businesses’ operations across various industries globally, underscoring the need for companies to be flexible, listen to their customers’ needs and respond in the best way possible to be able to go back to business instantaneously.

As certain localities start opening up and physical spaces are permitted to operate again, businesses need to be able to adapt and pivot quickly. Every organization must be ready to consider customers’ concerns by listening effectively, and by providing nothing but safe in-store experiences. 

In addition, given that pandemic response efforts vary from country to country, and even from city to city, businesses’ operations during this time need to be extremely versatile and easily adaptable to constantly changing official health and safety requirements, as well as customers’ expectations. 

Physical businesses’ challenges during the COVID 19 pandemic

One of the greatest challenges that businesses operating physical spaces during the pandemic are facing is around how to manage and control customer flow. This is important as companies need to ensure that they are in compliance with social distancing guidelines and that they are keeping their customers safe. This requirement can be particularly challenging for businesses that do not have experience with offline customer management processes, such as entities that previously offered walk-ins. 

In response to current circumstances, Agreefy designed an online booking management application for businesses that allow them to provide the best possible services to their customers, while operating effectively and thoughtfully. Even if appointments are not necessary, the platform can act as a visitor registration system ensuring you have a record of your visitors and can easily contact them in case of an emergency.

With AgreeQ, businesses manage appointments and walk-ins online assuring steady customers’ flow, at the same time allowing customers to make appointments in advance, from the safety of their home.

Online appointment management and walk-in software in action

How can an online scheduling software transform how physical businesses operate and promote greater safety and productivity during the pandemic? Below, we study a few scenarios related to businesses and organizations operating physical facilities.

Restaurants and Bars

Restaurants and bars have been hit particularly hard by the pandemic, especially smaller establishments who are now trying to understand how to comply with health and safety requirements that limit the number of patrons permitted in a physical space at once. 

By requiring customers to make reservations in advance, businesses can manage customer flow in physical spaces and also gain valuable insights on their operations during the pandemic. This information can be used to make operational adjustments that allow employers to maximize operational productivity and safety. Even for walk-in customers, having a record of visitors can provide valuable transparency and contact tracing to gain unprecedented levels of trust amongst establishments should anything unexpected occur.

Knowing how many people are planning to visit a bar or restaurant allows owners and management to plan staff capacity accordingly, or assign particular tasks according to demand.

In addition, online appointment booking software can offer some helpful features that allow for effortless communication with visitors. For example, it can be used to send push notifications to customers, reminding them that their reservation time is approaching. In the event of any health or safety occurrence, owners can also use data stored in the cloud to notify individuals who have visited their facility in a given period of time.

Hospitality and Personal Service Providers

Before the pandemic, businesses didn’t have to pay much attention to how much physical contact was involved in their daily operations. 

Today, companies have a responsibility to protect both their customers and their staff.

Whether you are a beauty salon or a gym manager, using an appointment booking software can allow you to strategize around employee and customer safety to determine which staff members will work on a particular task, how much time a customer will spend with each employee, share real-time wait times, and help customers avoid lines and long wait times. Businesses can also offer contactless payment features, which helps reduce the transmission of germs.

These small but impactful adjustments demonstrate to staff and clients that a company cares about their safety, and is likely to create positive experiences for both parties, and boost staff and client retention. 

Healthcare Institutions

Hospitals and healthcare facilities are unsurprisingly under a great deal of pressure right now and many of them are facing capacity gaps. By using a well-integrated and dynamic medical appointment scheduling system, these establishments can manage reservations across multiple locations and direct customers away from crowded facilities and to locations that have more space and greater staff capacity.

Agreefy’s appointment booking calendar can be synced with Google Maps so that patients can view their estimated travel time to their destination. If customers are running late or need to reschedule, they can easily requeue or schedule an appointment for a later date. 

Start today what will benefit your business tomorrow

Whether you are a restaurant, hair salon, or healthcare institution, appointment scheduling software allows you to better manage your business’ operations during the crisis while also ensuring customer and staff safety, satisfaction, and overall productivity. As a result, you communicate effectively with your customers, manage in-store traffic, plan your staff capacity and assignments ahead of time, and ensure compliance with local health and social distancing guidelines.

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