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How coronavirus is changing the way retailers deliver and set up beds in customers’ homes
It’s been a selling point for many brick-and-mortar retailers to offer free, white-glove delivery of new bed sets to their customers’ homes. But with everyone worried more than ever about germs, you may need to rethink how you deliver mattresses to ensure the health and safety of both your employees and your customers.
There are several ways you can adapt your practices while still providing the level of service your customers expect.
Drop off at the door. The e-commerce mattress brands have accustomed many consumers to having bedding delivered to their front door instead of carried into their bedroom. Give this option to all your brick-and-mortar customers, too. You can make the experience special by including a small gift with delivery or attaching a personalized thank-you note to the bed set. As soon as the bedding is delivered, email or text links to instructional videos or other tips for setup and include a phone number that customers can call with any questions.
Suit up. For customers who continue to want in-home delivery and setup, equip your delivery team not only with booties, but also with disposable suits, gloves and masks that they can don when entering customers’ homes. Before they get back into the truck, delivery teams should throw all those items into a trash bag used only for that purpose, and the bag should be tossed at the end of each delivery run. New protective gear should be worn into each customer’s home.
Keep mattresses from flying around. In the midst of the coronavirus pandemic, retailers are adapting the idea of take-out food to everything from books to bird seed, allowing customers to pay over the phone or online and then pick up those items curbside. But unless we’re talking about compact boxed beds, Sleep Savvy doesn’t recommend you — or your customers — strap mattresses onto the tops of cars or into the beds of pickup trucks. It’s just not safe. Stick with threshold or in-house delivery of traditional bedding.
Sanitize! Sanitize! Provide every member of your delivery team with hand sanitizer, plus an extra bottle for each truck so they can clean their hands frequently while out making deliveries.
Don’t touch! A key coronavirus precaution is, “Don’t touch your face!” To the best of your ability, follow the same procedure when it comes to mattresses awaiting delivery. Ask your vendors how they ensure that products they deliver to your store are clean and sanitized, then adjust your warehouse and distribution facility procedures, if needed, so that mattresses are handled as little as possible — and only by employees wearing masks and gloves.
As you make these changes, explain to customers why you are doing the things you are doing — online and in an information sheet you hand or email them at the time of the sale. They’ll appreciate your efforts.