It sounds like the title of a bad Hollywood movie, and yes there actually was one and it was really bad. However, it seems like we are all living in one, a really bad movie, doesn’t it?
It hasn’t even been two weeks since the order to ‘shelter-in-place’ has taken effect but it is already clear that life will not return to normal anytime soon. No one knows how long it will take for people to feel comfortable going on a cruise again, having friends over to your house, going to a bar to watch your team or even go and try on a new pair of Bermuda shorts.
For us, and many of our brothers and sisters (yes, we consider them family) in Hamilton with physical stores whom were already struggling to compete with online shopping, will see our customers mindsets flip right before our eyes. It’s understandable, the fear of contracting the virus is a real one and even as retailers, we have it too.
Work Online, Exercise Online, Play Online, Shop Online, Repeat has already become the new normal everywhere and will continue to be the new normal for a long time. Maybe that’s what our subconscious wanted; we had already begun to phase out physical interaction and relationships by spending too much time on our smartphones as it was (we plead guilty to that). We can’t honestly say that we didn’t see the shift to cyber space coming, we can say, that we didn’t see how fast it would happen.
Today’s pace of change in personal or business may be unprecedented, but it is surely spectacular, spectacularly good and spectacularly bad. Rapid change in any instance is a two-edged sword; a threat but also an opportunity. We believe that it is important to understand the threat and take on the opportunity.
At Coral Coast and many other retailers in Hamilton, we pride ourselves on customer service and physical interaction – now, that is simply just not allowed, nor will anyone want to be the first to test the waters. While you can’t see us, we are still here for every customer need out there, no matter how big or how small. Flexible return policies, communicating to our audience, easing our customer experience online, and entertaining are all things that seem simple yet are so important to reassure.
I think we can speak for all retailers in Hamilton that behind every info@ email address or phone number there is a person, a Bermudian, eager to help your virtual needs in the most Bermudian way possible (passionate and caring). We do not outsource customer service to other countries or have robots respond to our emails, we do it, we do it because we want to.
As a country we are all in this together and will come out on the other side together, albeit a much different landscape. It will take time to get used to but if we adapt together, we will be better a place, together.
“It’s not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent that survives. It is the one that is most adaptable to change” – Charles Darwin
Sam & Adam