The next crisis: Why all consumer-facing businesses should prepare

As businesses navigate reopening and bringing back consumers to their premises, how can communicators prepare for this period of uncertainty and anxiety?

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As restaurants, workplaces, tourist destinations and retail businesses prepare to reopen in the coming weeks, a word of caution: Be ready for a new set of challenges and prepare for the possibility of a new era of crises.

Doing business with consumers, diners, and shoppers will change. There are widespread public expectations that businesses of all types will take the necessary health and safety measures not only to protect their employees, but to also protect those who enter the establishments.

This is important not only because it’s the right thing to do, and in many cases is required by government, but also because reassuring both internal and external stakeholders of the commitment to do what is needed to prevent the further spread of COVID-19 is the best route toward maintaining high business trust and confidence.

However, the “new world order” that exists in a post-COVID19-restrictions environment comes with unique issues. Employees across the country are being encouraged to blow the whistle in the event their employer is not taking the necessary and required measures to comply with health and safety requirements. And in consumer retail and restaurant businesses, customers say they are most fearful of being exposed to the coronavirus by other customers, according to national consumer research.

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