I had an unusual experience a few days ago. I went to the grocery store for the first time in about a month. See, since stay-at-home recommendations were put in place in mid-March, my husband has been doing most of the shopping. But earlier this week, I ventured out to the store to pick up supplies.
It was also the first time I’d driven a vehicle in over a month (but that’s an entirely different story).
Honestly, I was looking forward to getting out, but as you’ve probably noticed, grocery shopping today is an entirely different experience than it was just a few months ago.
Everyone wears a mask.
The shopping aisles are “one-way.”
The checkout lines have dots on the floor indicating six feet apart, and cashiers clean their area between customers before inviting you to unload your cart and “come in.”
There is plexiglass between you and the cashier and a clear plastic flap over the credit card reader.
These precautions are expected (and appreciated), but what rattled me the most is that the vibe is completely different. Grocery shopping is now quiet (was Muzak even on?). No one talks, smiles or gets anywhere close to anyone else. Heaven forbid you say “excuse me” to move past someone else.
It’s just weird.
The side-effect of wearing masks and implementing “social distancing” procedures is that we are creating emotionless experiences.
Now I’m not got to pretend that grocery shopping was an activity that created complete enjoyment, but now that there are only mechanics involved of filling the cart with stuff, it becomes an indifferent chore.
And think of all the other activities that we once did (without giving it a second thought) that now might lack the vibe it once had.
- Dining at a restaurant
- Touring a museum
- Going to a spin class
- Window shopping
- Stopping for ice cream (will you still be offered endless samples?)
Businesses are meant to have a vibe because a vibe is part of their personality, right?
What has become apparent to me during this time is how important it is for businesses to find ways to get past the facts and convey who they are in a meaningful way.
People can purchase a widget from anywhere (Amazon has proven that), but what they want and crave, especially now, is a personal connection.
The reason why you are considered, hired and referred is because people like you, the way you conduct business … and they trust you.
How are you conveying that message now?
Is your vibe – your personality – coming across in your communications – your videos, social media posts, newsletters and other content?
Think about that as we all ease back into activities.
- How long have you gone without driving a vehicle?
- What activity that we once did, without a second thought, now might lack the vibe it once had?
- What role does a vibe play in the way you market your business?
Leave your answers in the comment section below.