The term new normal has become a popular way to describe the course of offices getting back to business after a period of reduced hours, temporary closures, and digitalizing more processes during the pandemic events.

This series of events has led to measures that are now more permanent fixtures of our culture and economy. These measures have been emphasized by governmental and non-governmental institutions alike, and include prescriptions such as social distancing, mask-wearing, frequent handwashing, additional vaccinations and stay-at-home guidelines for sick employees and clients.

Most of the policies and practices that have been emphasized during pandemics can be established with basic coordination and education efforts. The attempt to coordinate with employees and customers regarding health and safety practices is facilitated by effective business communication.

Communication tools such as text messaging, emails, and video conferencing have saved many of us from complete isolation during the pandemic. Businesses have been able to maintain their productivity or at least keep essential services running while working remotely thanks to these same tools.

At Weave, we believe the best way for small businesses to grapple with the unique challenges of the new normal that’s emerging right now is through optimizing your communication network.

Here are five modern communication solutions to the problems posed to those doing business in a world impacted by pandemics:

1. Set up a digital check-in protocol

woman checking in on phone

In response to the threat of contamination, businesses have begun implementing a digital check-in for as many customers as possible. The idea behind a digital check-in is that small businesses can prevent group spread by having their clients contact them by phone or text before entering their offices.

Upon arriving in the parking lot of a business, customers can notify the front desk with a simple text message, then wait for the go-ahead to come back for their appointment. Creating a virtual waiting room using business communication software is fairly simple. All it requires are an integrated office communication network and customers that use smartphones.

2. Send wellness forms before appointments

As part of your communication with customers before their appointments, it’s wise to ask them to fill out a wellness form and any other forms prior to arriving at the practice. The wellness forms are intended to identify sick or infected people that shouldn’t be frequenting public places or should be going to a hospital rather than a small business.

These wellness forms can be completed in a matter of minutes. They survey clients regarding their health, the health of the members of their household, and any travel they’ve done recently. By asking customers to reflect on their health before they walk through your doors, you’re keeping your staff and other clients safe from potential illness.

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3. Have customer information on hand

It’s important to have the personal records of your customers readily available when they contact you, whether that’s in person or by phone. Some small businesses continue to rely on outdated files and clunky software. Software that makes client records immediately accessible upon receiving a call or visit helps cut down on front desk conversations.

When virtual waiting rooms are established, your administrative team could be spending time efficiently communicating through devices. They don’t need to be stumbling about the office looking for documents, health records, or file folders. Having software that automatically populates a detailed history of a customer as soon as they contact you from the parking lot is ideal for facing the new normal.

4. Promote contactless payments

Even if your customers are conscientious enough to wear masks and gloves into your office, they still have to deal with the dirty business of making a payment. Transactions have historically involved handling cash, coins, checks, and cards, all potential carriers of germs and viruses. Switching to digital payments can help your office avoid unnecessary health hazards.

At this point, our technology allows for a number of digital payments, including mobile wallets and text payments. Mobile wallets let your customers scan their phones and pay through Apple Pay, Google Pay, Microsoft Pay, or Samsung Pay. Text payments get rid of post-appointment interactions altogether by giving your administrative team the ability to send a link by text for payment collection.

5. Start a company newsletter

Although calling and texting are effective ways of communicating with your customers during a pandemic, they both have their limitations. Calls are incredibly time consuming, and if they’re automated, they’re likely to be ignored by many clients. Texts are opened by the vast majority of customers, but their brevity may not allow you to give a full description of your office’s new health and safety procedures.

For longer formats, it’s best to create professional-looking emails that are both informative and digestible. Distributing a regular newsletter by email rather than traditional mail will save you both time and money. Putting together a sleek newsletter is increasingly easy thanks to email marketing tools designed for small businesses.


Effortless communication solutions by Weave

Now that you’re aware of some basic answers to the requirements for businesses facing conditions altered by pandemics, let’s take a look at the tools within Weave’s complete business toolbox that facilitate these solutions.

Weave Messages

While setting up a digital check-in protocol is technically possible with landline phones, a combination of VOIP phones and two-way texting is much preferred. If your staff is busy when a customer calls from your parking lot, Weave Messages sends an automated missed call text that assures the customer your office will get back to them shortly.

These missed call texts can naturally begin two-way text conversations that are supported by our software. Your staff can hold multiple text conversations at once with customers that are checking-in digitally. Weave Messages promotes social distancing while allowing your small business to get back on track.

Weave Scheduling

In order to fill your schedule after a closure period, you’ll need high-level scheduling software and communication outreach to activate your customers. Weave Scheduling empowers your administrative team to fill your schedule quickly and efficiently. As part of your scheduling efforts, be sure to include wellness forms in your texts.

Weave Scheduling is capable of meeting the demands of the new normal because it allows you to easily develop custom messages that incorporate wellness forms. The Scheduling tool utilizes appointment reminders, smart confirmations, and Quick Fill lists to engage customers and bring them back through your doors. Make sure you’re protecting both your employees and customers by sharing wellness forms in your scheduling texts.

Weave Customer Insight

To cut down on the amount of time customers spend at the front desk, use our Customer Insight, which informs your team about each customer’s history when they contact your office. As your administrative staff chats with customers, they can easily view important information, such as future appointments, health histories, family members, birthdays, outstanding balances, and specific preferences.

Instead of thumbing through files, scrolling through outdated e-records, or searching for post-it notes, let customer information come to you. This convenience simplifies the process of setting up a virtual waiting room, maintaining social distancing, and checking health histories for predisposition to infection.

Weave Payments

Your staff deserves to be protected from the threat of disease as they administer services. Lessening their exposure by using Weave Payments is an essential step toward creating a safer environment for your team. This tool encourages customers to use digital payments as opposed to conventional ones like cash and card.

Conventional payments allow for the transfer of germs by handling money or running a card through a terminal. Weave Payments lets your customers pay with their phone or by text. These options are critical for reducing the physical interaction that could lead to employees and customers getting sick.

Weave Email Marketing

A final tool that Weave provides is Email Marketing. As we’ve discussed, calls and texts are insufficient for sharing in-depth information with your customers. Emailing also saves on time and money in a way that traditional mailing doesn’t.

To multiply your business efforts, consider designing a regular newsletter or email campaign through Email Marketing. This tool is intended for administrative staff that don’t have expertise in email marketing. It enables novices to create professional, eye-catching emails with the help of pre-written templates, an image library, and call-to-action buttons.

Business Communication for the New Normal

The recent pandemics have changed the way we conduct business. These changes are meant to promote the health and safety of everyone that steps into your office. With some simple practices and the right communication solutions, however, you’re well on your way to meeting the demands of the new normal and flourishing as a business.

Contact Weave today for a free demo of our complete business toolbox.