ERIE, Pa., June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- As the COVID-19 pandemic began in the spring of 2020, Americans immediately started looking for ways to reduce in-person contact. Meanwhile, businesses were searching for options to keep their doors open as many faced government-mandated shutdowns and restrictions. A new trend emerged almost overnight: curbside pickup.
While adding curbside pickup services may require some changes for your business, there's also a definite upside. You can take advantage of this massive ecommerce opportunity, without the shipping costs that often make online sales a loss leader.
So whether your business is looking to add curbside pickup, or just improve the service you already offer, Erie Insurance offers 10 helpful tips.
- Use technology to your advantage. One reason a customer will choose to place a curbside pickup order is because it's convenient. Ask yourself, how complicated is your online checkout process? Are customers able to notify you when they arrive through a text message, website or app? If customers find it difficult to order online, or experience long wait times when they arrive at your business, it's unlikely they'll try the service again.
- Give clear directions. There's no real standard for how curbside pickup should work. The practice varies from business to business, and location to location. That's why it's important to provide clear instructions to your customers both before and during the pickup. Make sure the process is clearly and simply explained both on your website and inside your business.
- Limit in-person contact. Another reason to offer curbside pickup service is to reduce the contact your customers (and employees) will have with others. To this end, make sure your employees are well trained and respect physical distancing guidelines. You should also adapt your pickup processes to reduce in-person contact.
- Provide protective clothing. By now, we're all aware of the importance of wearing masks to help reduce the spread of COVID-19. But there are other clothing items you should also consider to protect your employees. Wearing bright-colored, high-visibility vests can help drivers spot your employees in crowded parking lots. Proper footwear, such as non-slip shoes, may prevent slips and falls. And warm clothing like hats, coats and gloves are necessary during the cold winter months.
- Clearly designate your pickup area. Designate a number of spaces in your parking lot, or along the curb outside your building, as a curbside pickup location. Then, make sure the area is well-lit and clearly marked.
- Follow sanitation best practices. Be sure to make routine cleaning a part of your curbside pickup process and follow the latest guidance from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. If you're in the restaurant or grocery business, this tip also applies to keeping foods at the appropriate temperature. Make sure you follow federal food safety guidelines by storing both hot and cold foods correctly while orders await pickup.
- Improve walkway safety. With employees running back and forth to deliver customer orders, your sidewalks will be getting extra traffic. Reduce slips, trips and falls by keeping walkways free of clutter and removing any slip hazards – especially snow and ice. If you have potholes in your parking lot or damaged parts of your sidewalk, consider getting them repaired. And make good use of entrance mats and wet floor signs, too.
- Check your insurance protection. When expanding your service offerings, it's always a good idea to check in with your insurance agent. Your agent can double-check your business insurance policy to ensure you've got enough coverage in place in the event of an injury or lawsuit.
- Promote your new curbside pickup Offering curbside pickup won't increase sales if your customers don't know about it. To promote this new service, think of all the ways you can reach shoppers with the news. Some options may include print and digital advertising, social media marketing, email distributions and in-store signage.
- Focus on customer service. Just because a curbside customer isn't walking into your store doesn't mean you can't personalize the experience. Make sure your employees make the most of their brief customer interactions by being friendly and greeting the customer by name. Consider including a personal note or coupon in their order. Check every order for accuracy and try to deliver it as quickly and efficiently as possible. After the customer leaves, you may even want to follow up with an email or text message thanking them for their business. `
Every business is unique. That's why we don't offer a one-size-fits-all policy or an inflexible. Your ERIE agent will listen to you carefully and respond with tailor-made solutions for your business – and your budget. To learn more about how an ERIE business insurance policy can help protect you, contact an ERIE agent in your neighborhood today.
About Erie Insurance
According to A.M. Best Company, Erie Insurance Group, based in Erie, Pennsylvania, is the 11th largest homeowners insurer and 12th largest automobile insurer in the United States based on direct premiums written and the 16th largest property/casualty insurer in the United States based on total lines net premium written. The Group, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best Company, has nearly 6 million policies in force and operates in 12 states and the District of Columbia. Erie Insurance Group is a FORTUNE 500 company.
News releases and more information about Erie Insurance Group are available at www.erieinsurance.com.
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SOURCE Erie Insurance Group