There won’t be many businesses out there who will emerge from COVID-19 unscathed. The pandemic is affecting each business differently – whether that be causing them to have to completely restructure their business operations to adapt to the new work-from-home model or by causing them to have a steep loss in revenue.
Many businesses had to close during the last spike of cases and have only just started returning to “normal” with new capacity restrictions as well as other health measures now in place. In order for businesses to remain open and continue to operate safely through the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, appropriate measures need to be in place to collect contact information from their customers to facilitate any contact tracing that may be required in the event of an exposure.
This is where a customer check-in system can come in handy.
A customer check-in system can mean many things. For some businesses, this can simply mean a process for manually collecting customer information on a clipboard whenever someone new arrives. However, for other businesses, this can mean a more digital solution that reduces the manual efforts required by staff and increases both efficiency and accuracy.
While it may appear like implementing a digital COVID-19 customer check-in system may be more difficult than it would be to use pen and paper to collect information, it really isn’t! While it may take a little bit of extra work to set-up in the short term, the benefits such a system can afford are well worth it in the long term.
Just to show you how simple it would be to implement a customer check-in system for your business, here are three easy steps to build one for a quick, SMS check-in!
1. Register a Shortcode Keyword
The first thing you will need to do when planning out your digital customer check-in system is to acquire access to a shortcode number (typically through an SMS service provider or an SMS marketing tool) and register a keyword that will be specific to the check-in system. This keyword will be what your customers will use when completing the self-check-in.
You will want to make sure that this keyword is simple for customers to type out – the more concise the better. By keeping the keyword as simple as possible, this decreases the risk for input errors on the customer’s part.
2. Create the Verification Content
The second step for implementing a customer check-in system is to create the automated verification message that will be sent to customers once they text the keyword into the shortcode number to register.
This message should ideally contain the following pieces of information:
- The name of the business
- The date and time the customer checked into the business
- A reminder to self-monitor for symptoms
- A thank you to the customer for checking in
When configuring this verification text message, you are able to use a merge tag in place of the check-in date and time, which will automatically pull in the correct information whenever it send a new verification message to a customer.
Customers will be required to show you this verification text message upon entering the business. By having customers check themselves into your business, you are able to reduce lineups and make sure that everyone has a better overall experience.
3. Create Signage and Awareness
Once you have the shortcode and keyword set up and have configured the verification text message, the last piece of the digital customer check-in system is making sure that customers know that it exists!
Your business can do this in any number of ways; the easiest of which may be to create signage with instructions and post them at the entrances to your business. You can also post information about the new check-in process on your business’s social media pages or in a regular email newsletter you may send out to subscribers.
Once your customers get used to this new process, it will become more and more efficient each time they return.
Facilitating the Customer Check-in System Implementation
Here at SimplyCast, we are able to provide businesses with all the tools they need to implement their own customer check-in system. Our SMS Marketing tool allows users to utilize shortcode and keyword functionality and combining it with the SimplyCast 360 automation tool, businesses can configure the verification messages that are sent to customers when the check in.
For more information on SimplyCast’s capabilities on implementing the customer check-in system, as well as information about a number of other ways SimplyCast can help businesses adapt their communication processes throughout COVID-19, check out this page on our website!
As well, be sure to click the button below to sign up for a free demo of the entire SimplyCast platform.