Hygiene strategy as a competitive edge

Turn a necessity into an advantage

Hygiene strategies existed before the start of the pandemic. However, with the increased attention and need for safety and cleanliness in the era of COVID-19, business owners have a whole new way to take advantage of the time and money they invest into developing, adhering to and monitoring cleaning and hygiene procedures. After all, implementing these measures is also a way of protecting your customers and employees.

So make the most of your hygiene strategies
Of course, the foundation of any strategy is a well thought out plan which is rigorously adhered to. Templates are available from the respective Chambers of Commerce and Industry for example which also address regional and sector specific aspects. You can find 7 additional hints and tips on hygiene strategies in the food service industry here. Once the strategy is in place it all comes down to the details.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Are these measures clear and transparent to everyone – customers, guests, partners and employees? Many are especially uncomfortable when it comes to reopening or getting back to the office. Make sure that these procedures and rules are clear and available in a variety of places (see our 3 communication tips below).
  • Do the implemented measures go beyond the minimum? Such as special UV-C lamps or less cost intensive antiviral films that actively and continuously reduce levels of viral and bacterial contamination (read more about that here).
  • Can I adapt my measures to be more comfortable? This might involve even the smallest of changes. For example, offer seating (compliant with social distancing rules) in front of your shop to help make the waiting time more comfortable.
  • What can I do to make sure customers remember me and not the smell of my sanitiser? There are many options from a sincere “thank you for your visiting” to offering a sanitising product along with the words “have a safe trip home”.

Promote your strategy
Three communications tips for success

  • Inform people affected about your hygiene. This applies particularly for your employees. Brief them in person and create a trusting environment for questions.
  • Avoid complicated signs, notices – with the right visual language and perhaps some humour you can take away the gloomy and sometimes unpleasant atmosphere surrounding the topic. After all, it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it.
  • Use your measures to advertise. Back to UV-C lamps and antiviral films: if your measures go beyond the minimum, let people know about them. Showcase them on your online channels, give an insight into their implementation and point them out explicitly on site. For example, you might use additional signage with the motto “working for you”

Last but not least:
always remember that each measure is not just a contribution to limiting the spread of the pandemic it is also a commitment to building trust and demonstrates that your surroundings and staff and customers are important to you. Trust breeds loyalty as an employer, vendor and service provider.