Wondering if anyone has changed how they operate repair shops to optimize safety during this pandemic. Comments appreciated.
I have added a doorbell and clipboard with repair tags to my shop door. This is what a posted sign says:
Pick up protocol
Ring door bell and wait for me
Straight up, we don’t have the problems that other crazy countries have due to largely educated and responsible citizens so protocols are largely rational responses and procedures to a clear and present danger.
At the beginning of the pandemic businesses locked down but kept working.
Masks and constant hand sanitation along with gloved handling of received instruments was practiced from day one.
A list of probable transmission modes was obtained and used to make up a work system to protect us from infection and also protect the customer from any infection. Instruments were given a cooling off period after cleaning as an added precaution.
Appointment only, emphasis was on our business controlling and sanitising received instrument while accepting them at social distancing regulation distance with mandatory mask wearing. No paper receipts issued nor any cash or media accepted. Online payment only.
Instruments worked on as usual and desanitised before handing back, gloved and masked to customers.
Currently our State has practically zero cases except for some boneheads who ignored social distancing and gatherings in the south before returning to here. So it’s now business as usual with social distancing only. Hard to say how effective this procedure was but compared to the rest of the crazies I recommend this process as the bare minimum.
I've changed mine. My shop is a separate building from the house. Most visits are scheduled and customers would just show up. The CV19 protocol changed that to giving me a day and time they'll arrive to pickup or drop-off an instrument. The instruments are left on an unlocked screened in porch attach to our house.
When scheduling the visit, most of the info you ask for is gathered over the phone or email before they arrive.
At Gryphon, we've stated taking appointments for repair evaluation. Currently we're able to handle 20-min. appointments on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Those times are booked solid, and provide us as much work as we can handle for now.
People have been really gracious and understanding of the need for safety!
We open the big roll-up door where we have an intake counter and computer stationed. Customer comes up with instrument and places the case on the counter, standing on the sidewalk during the entire intake time. We have tape lines on the sidewalk to encourage the 6-foot rule. Masks are strictly required.
We can do the diagnosis right there, enter the job, print receipt and tag for the case.
The retail section of the shop is available only by separate appointment, or to pick up and pay for repairs.
The hardest part is denying access to the restroom. . .
Late to the party here...
I went to appointment only months ago. At first, I did the "leave in the entryway, take the call tag", then went to "curbside" repair pickup/drop off...still offer that, but now pretty much everyone comes into the shop. I required mask wearing in the shop even before it was mandated here in MN. I wash my hands A LOT, and have sanitizer on hand for both myself and customers.
I also invested in a "Molekule" air filter for the front of the shop. This air filter supposedly can kill viruses...I hope that is true. I run it full blast when I have a customer in the shop, then kick it down to normal a while after they leave.
Another thing we did was come up with an online "repair form". This gets me all the customer data I need and a tiny bit of info on what they want, then I call them to set up the drop off appointment. The goal is to reduce the time a customer needs to be in the shop. I'm trying to encourage the use of this system, but there are still a lot of people who don't use it and just call or text, or show up randomly at the front door...
I also do a bit of retail sales of guitars and accessories...that part of the business has dropped off (fine by me), but repairs have stayed steady and have even slightly increased this month.
I'm taking repairs outside only at the moment. Process is like any other delivery: ring at the door, give them time to put the instrument down and stand back a way, collect the instrument and say thanks. Everything else is done remotely. It's slower, but safer. Majority of payments via bank transfer or PayPal, occasionally card but that can be sterilised and left somewhere where they can pick it up without getting close as it works via Blueooth.