Snow: you loved it as a kid (who didn’t love a day off from school?), but now as an adult and a small business owner, you don’t exactly have the same warm-and-fuzzy feeling toward winter weather as you did during those carefree days-gone-by. Your love of snow has, instead, turned to loathing.
Why? Well, each winter, small businesses report a drop in sales and clients due to winter snowstorms. Customers cancel appointments or don’t show up, and employees call out, leading to chaos for your business. According to ABCNews, the U.S. economy suffers a loss of approximately 500 million to 1 billion each year as a result of winter weather.
This is why customer and staff communication is so important. Read on for four reasons why quick and effective communication is the key to fighting the winter weather and taking back your business.
1. Customers Will Appreciate it
In inclement weather, it’s imperative to implement timely communication with your patrons. Picture this: A customer assumes you are open, treks through the snow, and makes it over to your establishment, only to find out that you are closed. This type of situation will likely lead to negative reviews, which is not good for business.
2. Employees Will Thank You
When the weather forecast calls for snow, everyone goes into panic mode, thinking, “Should I come into work? What’s the policy?” Having a communication plan in place for these types of situations helps to avoid questions and uncertainties. When your staff members know who is scheduled to work even in inclement weather, you will avoid gaps in your employee schedule. Because if customers do make the trek in, they need someone to take care of their needs.
3. Better Employee Moral = Better Customer Service
Taking the time to put in a communication plan and show that you are thinking of your workers’ safety and best interests goes a long way. According to stats from Good & Co. Career Insights, happy employees are 31% more productive than their unhappy counterparts. The proof is in the numbers.
4. Keep Customers Coming Back
Wouldn't you agree it's fair to say that you become a 'regular' at a business if you feel a personal connection to the staff, whether it’s your hair stylist or your pet groomer? Effective communication aids in developing and maintaining a personal connection with your customers, who are more likely to utilize your services on a regular basis if they feel you care about their needs.
In all, communicating effectively with your patrons and staff, and planning in advance of threats from Old Man Winter will prevent financial losses and help you maintain your sanity, as well as that of your customers and employees.
What does your small business think is most important when battling fierce winter weather? Leave us a comment below!
About the Author
Erica Brooke Fajge is a contributing author for Booker by MINDBODY. She has extensive experience in the tech and digital marketing industries, specifically in web content, online publishing, and startups. Erica also shares her expertise as an adjunct instructor at the Fox School of Business at Temple University in Philadelphia, where she teaches Business Communications in the Department of Marketing and Supply Chain Management.More Content by Erica Brooke Fajge