• Juanita Neville-Te Rito

How to add a vital human touch in the COVID experience – a brand concierge



Andy Gollings is CEO and Director of Red Badge Group. You will have seen them in action deploying their expertise in people management at countless large events all around New Zealand ( Elton John concert, Villa Maria Concert in the vines – well that’s where we have seen them). They have done the ultimate pivot to utilise their experience, expertise and incredible motivated talent to fill the gap required by people to personalise and deliver the access control management required by supermarkets, retirement villages and essential infrastructure during Level 4 Lockdown.


We asked Andy if he could share more about their learnings and what they provide as a service as we move closer to Level 3 Lockdown and ideally Level 2. Many retail businesses, especially those with significant foot traffic and those needing to consider how they manage social distancing, contact tracing and customer flow management. The feedback from customers and businesses alike is that the Red Badge team have made a real difference by providing a human touch at an important time.


Could your business benefit from their expertise in people and customer management? Could this free you and your team to focus directly on your day-to-day business? Could providing a human touch enhance the brand experience in an uncertain time and add reassurance and a smile to people’s faces when they are battling a range of emotions?

As we all prepare to come out of hibernation, our thoughts turn to how we can get our business rolling again. We consider how we can meet the expectations of our customers and keep them coming back. How do we meet our obligations to our staff, our customers, and our community during this period? How do we keep an accurate record of customers? Knowing who has been in our environment will be important and successful businesses will also consider how these obligations can be met while providing the customer with a positive experience.


The challenge

A positive customer experience should be easy to understand, uncomplicated, and include the ability for the customer to feel safe and respected. Adding an additional layer of screening and recording of customers will undoubtedly be unsettling for customers and staff and therefore it is worth considering how best to approach this.


The systems and people used to manage this component are important. Greeting, screening and recording of customers as they enter can even be tailored to enhance the experience of entering a store. In our immediate future, entry management will remain necessary and could become an influential component of the customer experience.


Experts in providing a human experience

Our approach was to develop a simple solution and deliver this with people able to enhance the experience of the customer by humanising each contact and making each customer feel welcome. Managing the entry to your premises will, at times, be challenging and the staff charged with this role will need the ability to de-escalate conflict as well as act with empathy and compassion.


With over 20 years’ experience, Red Badge has developed expertise in people management in the dynamic world of large events. We have recently used this experience and pool of motivated staff to personalise the access control necessary for entry to supermarkets, retirement villages and essential infrastructure during the Level 4 Lockdown. We have seen our people make a real difference by providing a human touch at an important time.


We have partnered with experts to make a mobile App available to record all visitors to your site. This will simplify recording of visitors, provide easily accessible records of those on-site at any given time whilst protecting the privacy of all.

Our team of experienced consultants are providing our clients with the support needed to implement policy, processes, and provide tailored training to staff. We are also providing appropriately trained and customer service-focused people to be the concierge of this experience.


Our advice to you

If you are opening your premise to the public at Level 3, or considering what you might need to do as we move towards Level 2, our advice to you would be to design the experience that you would want for yourself.


  1. Ensure your customers understand what you are doing

  2. Ensure you customers understand why you are doing it

  3. Treat everyone equally

  4. Make the rules and consequences clear and allow some choice.


Our management team can help you plan this experience for your customers and our team can work with you to deliver it.


The proof is always in the pudding and we have been delighted with the following unsolicited feedback from happy humans who have been in touch with our experience during the Level 4 Lock down.

“So great with everyone... made the time go fast... professional but friendly in these difficult times…”


“Your staff are absolutely wonderful. Very friendly and helpful.”


“They are so friendly and professional in the way they interact with all our staff. A BIG Thank You to all your staff… we appreciate it.”


“Has been our ‘host’ at the front gate on each of our visits and we have consistently found him to be very professional, friendly and obviously committed to doing the best job he can for the residents and the Village.”


“He is so genuine and easy to talk to. He shows outstanding respect for the residents and their visitors during a time that is unique, uncertain and stressful.”


“Her customer engagement was phenomenal. I am really amazed by her positive attitude and how enthusiastic she is to assist others during these uncertain times.”


“The lady that you have working at the shops in Rangiora late yesterday is worth her weight in gold. Such a welcoming pleasant & helpful person. So lovely to see at this time!”


“Attitude rubs off on the waiting queue…. Everyone is in good spirits, calm and polite.”



To explore how Red Badge Group can assist you to enhance the experience for your customers, talk to us.


Click here to make contact today


Or email: info@redbadge.co.nz or call Dee Wakelin on 021 520 640









#retail #retailx #makingretailhappen #covid19response #contacttracing #queuemanagement #brandconceirge #socialdistancing

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