Voices: Mint & Needle seeks to build trust with customers
As Delaware businesses are poised to reopen, Brandi Gregge at Mint & Needle is focusing on everything she can do to make her customers feel safe with as limited contact as possible.
“I’m a nurse practitioner, so I’ve been following the guidelines very seriously as we’re looking to reopen,” Gregge said. “It’s going to look very different than what we were doing before, but it’s important to keep us all safe.”
Gregge opened Mint & Needle, an esthetic boutique that designs customized skin care, in Middletown in October 2019. Business was steadily picking up throughout the winter, with revenue up 30% from January to February.
But that all changed when the coronavirus pandemic hit Delaware. Even with a PPP loan, she has concerns about her fixed costs like the lease and expiring product sitting on the shelves.
So Gregge turned to social media, not only to market her skin care product for online sales. She’s also debuted virtual visits, where she meets with clients over video call, and seen some success.
“It’s surprising and awesome to see that after a virtual visit, we see sales do go through for products that’s recommended for care, much like we’d set them up with the product in an in-store visit,” Gregge said.
As Mint & Needle is looking to re-open, Gregge said the virtual visits will continue as consultations. But the storefront will eventually reopen, just with more rigorous safety measures. That includes screening clients before they come in the building, staggering appointments to limit contact and sanitizing after each one.
But now more than ever, Gregge said it’s important to maximize your digital presence.
“You need to be willing to limit contact as much as possible, whether it’s appointments or products you can buy, or even contactless purchasing,” she said. “One person sick could shut it down all over again.”