3 Ways to Create a Positive Mask-Wearing Experience for Your Patrons

Pandemic-weary consumers are ready to get out and shop. But first, they want to know it’s safe. So they look for businesses that follow safe practices, like wearing masks. The evidence shows it’s one of the most effective ways to stay safe. And that keeps your business open. So how do you get customers to wear a mask without being too heavy-handed? Take a look at these positive ways to encourage mask-wearing in your business.

The good news is a Health Day/Harris poll reports 93% of U. S. adults say they sometimes, often or always wear a mask when they leave the house. 72% said they always wear one. So your challenge may not be to convince customers to wear a mask, but rather to provide gentle reminders to put theirs on.

Here are some positive ways to do that:

Communicate upfront.

Most people like to know what’s expected, then they’ll willingly comply. That’s why it’s important to communicate upfront about your safety policies. The key is repetition. Here are examples of how other businesses are spreading the word. In addition, consider these options:

  • Social media platforms – Update your Google and Yelp business pages to include the mask requirement. These two are particularly important communication points for mobile users.
  • Email – Include a mask message in your email messages and your newsletter. If you see clients by appointment, include a mask reminder in your confirmation.
  • Website – Include a notice on your home page, near the top. Some owners also include a video message showing customers know what you’re doing to create a safe shopping experience.
  • Print – Here’s a customizable template from the U. S. Chamber of Commerce. Create the flyer by selecting from a number of prepared message points, each based on the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommendations. Don’t forget a reminder sign on your front door. Take a positive approach, “Thanks for wearing a mask.”

Offer complimentary masks.

Everyone forgets now and then. So have a complimentary supply of masks ready for customers who may have left theirs at home. Disposable masks are widely available and provide an easy solution (and the expense is often tax deductible).

Other businesses create their own customized masks on sites like Etsy. It might include your logo or a clever message like, “I just got my coffee fix at Judy’s Java Joint.” Since they are reusable, the wearer promotes your business each time it’s worn, even if they’re not in your store.

Provide fun incentives.

Mask-wearing doesn’t have to be drudge. Some businesses are having a little fun with it. For example:

  • Safe Discounts – Remember when grocery stores would give you a discount if you brought your own reusable bags? Some businesses use the same idea and give “safety discounts” to customers who properly wear a mask.
  • Contests – Other businesses give out awards for “most creative mask of the week.” It might be a coupon for their next visit or recognition on the business’ social media pages. A variation is to give out prizes to every tenth customer wearing a mask.
  • Double duty – If you’re giving out disposable masks, look for other reasons to use them. For example, encourage customers to write their answer to the question of the day, like “What was your favorite TV show as a kid?” They make great conversation starters and help you develop better customer relationships. One coffee house encourages customers to write their order on the mask. It’s also a bonus for baristas who sometimes have trouble hearing their order over the espresso machine.

Think about mask-wearing as an opportunity to attract customers. Not only do you have the products and services they need, but you’re also providing a safe shopping experience. With ideas like these, you can do both and still maintain a positive customer relationship. 

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