May'20 Message from Vice President Bill Rheaume

Bill Rheaume

Vice President Skål International

Business best practices during COVID-19

During this forced down time, many Skålleagues are talking about doing business amongst friends and keeping their businesses alive.

As I mentioned in my last article, we need to think about how to make our businesses better as we re-enter the post pandemic world, and in this article, I provide some suggestions on how to keep our businesses - and ourselves, visible during the shut-down.

We have all heard it many times – stay connected to our customers, but how do we do that? Well, one of the ways is to communicate ‘Virtual Experiences’ about the product or service we provide. Experiential virtual travel offers the opportunity for an existing or potential new customer to engage their senses around our business products, creating emotional, memorable connections and building relationships. Customers will remember who you are and what you offer when travel restrictions are removed. 

Use your creativity to tell a story about your business, showcasing a slice of a day into your tour or themed event.  An example of this is the Calgary Zoo’s ‘Daily Dose at Home’ program where they show a video of a zoo species and offer insights into their care and facilities as well as including an at-home activity. Check out the link

Or you can host a live guided virtual tour like Canmore, Alberta’s ‘Cave Tours’, enticing customers to book when the economy re-opens. Other examples:

  • Hotels can offer a section of their hotel specifically for small private groups, segregated away from other guests, so they feel safer;

  • Restaurants can include a complimentary sample of a feature they want to promote, with every take-out order; or

  • Hotel restaurants offering take-out or delivery, can include a recipe for one of the chef’s favourite menu items as well as a voucher redeemable later.

The goal is to create emotional triggers, including ‘WOW’ moments to increase customer engagement. 

Fellow Skålleagues, as the darkness of self-isolation and sheltering at home begins to recede, stay positive and ensure you and your business are prepared for the next step in the post COVID process. We must work together to promote and support each other’s businesses wherever possible. 

Take me into your world and bring me back to mine with a new awareness”. Richard Pochinko

Bill Rheaume

Vice President Skål International