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Covid fatigue is becoming a thing where we are all simply tired of hearing, worrying, thinking and focusing on the virus that has challenged the world in a way it hasn’t been challenged in over a century. Recently, we passed the 1-year anniversary of the first government responses and shutdowns to combat the pandemic. Vaccine distribution is underway and ahead of schedule and spring breakers are heading to South Florida to take advantage of the warm weather and open bars.
Their arrival is a perfect reflection of the challenges the coronavirus has created throughout our society. People heading to South Florida by the thousands to enjoy our environment. They are not vaccinated, and many are not interested in wearing masks or practicing social distancing. Even locals are beginning to loosen their cautions on the virus as numbers have been going down on new cases and death rates.
This has forced small businesses into a predicament as more and more customers come back after a year with shutdowns and precautions, many will not be interested in safety protocol because they are sick of Covid fatigue, or in complete denial still.
Either way, these small businesses will be faced with a difficult decision on how much they wish to enforce these mandates and precautions and run the risk of losing that business they’ve been struggling to get back for over a year.
Before we begin, let’s state the fact: the coronavirus should never have become a political issue. Regardless of who you blame for it, the fact is that this is a global pandemic and we as a country were not going to be immune to it.
Political affiliation and beliefs should never interfere with the understanding and impact health issues can have on our people as a country. It’s unfortunate that some believe the information or treatment of the pandemic is politically driven and that has to stop if we wish to get back to a way of normal sooner rather than later.
We’ve all seen the videos online of a business asking a customer to wear a mask and the customer blowing up on everyone, getting into shouting matches, throwing things and so forth. These tantrums are an embarrassment to everyone and show just how aggressive and irrational people can be on this issue. The last thing a small business owner wants to have is someone acting like this when their store or restaurant is finally full of paying customers.
This creates an uncomfortable situation for your customers, employees and you’re probably never going to see the person who is shouting back to buy something from you in the future. So, should you enforce precautions on your customers aggressively? The answer is yes but not for the reasons you may think.
What does that have to do with the coronavirus pandemic? Think about the virus topic literally as those reviews. The people who don’t care about it are more likely to be outspoken. They truly are outnumbered 10 to 1 by people who do respect this virus and want to be safe. Some of those 10 are outspoken and tell those anti-maskers they are wrong. However, the majority of those 10 are just quiet and want to avoid causing an issue.
So, while you may not want someone to make a scene or leave a bad review because you enforced safety protocol, it’s actually going to make ten times more customers comfortable. Do you think one of these people who reads a negative review about your company throwing someone out because they wouldn’t wear a mask is going to avoid your business? No, in fact it will encourage them to choose you over your competitors because you are taking this seriously.
People who order online from Walmart or Target usually do so not because they don’t want to go to those stores in person, but because they do not want to deal with standing in line, being around people, were not happy with something that occurred in your store or perhaps just feel that it’s easier to make the purchase online.
These people are not going to write negative reviews or complain about your services by yelling to other customers. They are the silent majority who will simply keep their mouths quiet and take the path of least resistance. These are the customers you really need to worry about because they will not tell you they are unhappy, they simply will just not come back.
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