For businesses, communicating with their customers is always important and when your community is dealing with a crisis like Covid-19, it is crucial to better connect with your community. After all, who cares what product or service you are offering when your customers are in a crisis? The way you communicate with them in a crisis, will absolutely impact how they think about your brand and business.
This goes far beyond adding small changes to the advertising campaigns. Crisis management involves having a plan to connect efficiently and consistently across your customer support staff, your media outlets and the company as a whole.
While you cannot actually manage the situation at hand, you could indeed shape the way you want to react to it. I like to do things in a manner that makes consumers feel noticed and understood. Here’s how you would do that too:
Know the principles at the core of the crisis.
The way of your communication determines the core principles you hold. When you don’t realize your core principles, your interactions can be contradictory and uncompromising. Rather than stating what you stand for, tell what you have to tell to make you look intelligent.
Look at the debate surrounding Black Lives Matter. Businesses behave in a different manner. If a business is now consciously embracing and conveying diversity and equality, its approach would be significantly different than an organization that is only trying to join this attitude.
It’s best to know where you’re standing and interacting from there, as compared to thinking you’re not there. One will reveal credibility. This is a big source of anxiety if you don’t realize where you’re standing.
Study, and reevaluate the values if necessary. Tell yourself: What are you trying to represent going on, and what is important to you most? Conduct honest communication and you will guide the community towards a better future.
Pause for a moment, and listen.
Having conclusions will discourage you from listening, and leave you feeling confused or isolated in your culture. Any of the easiest ways to connect effectively are to listen to what people are saying and open the door for a dialogue, rather than giving a speech. The basic job of e-mailing and telling your main clients, “how do you do?” and “what would you need?” can go a long way.
As the Covid-19 pandemic started to hit companies, my coffee business reached out to our clients to pulse on what they wanted most. We soon learned they felt worried about running out of coffee beans. Knowing their desire to feel healthy, we offered a deal to purchase one package of beans and freeze one more. Although we had a complete inventory, we helped as many consumers as possible with the deal. In the other side, we have produced a sales jump.
Utilize customer reviews to paint a clear view of where they live, and change from there appropriately. Clarity is essential in communication. Ask clear and simple questions, then listen to the needs articulated and act on what you learn.
Take a stand, and be brave.
Forget on what the community thinks for a moment, just concentrate on what you stand for. Ultimately, the reality will show itself, and it’s easier to be honest from the beginning than to risk losing clients in the future. There’s nothing bolder about your conversation than being non-apologetically frank. Rather than heading along with the mainstream and standing by, express the facts. Oddly enough you’ll grab the attention and stand out from the crowd.
Be the company or the brand which gives the truth to people. When you can stand strong on what you value, communicate with your listeners from this viewpoint and from your presence.
Bear in mind that any challenge you encounter will be a blip in the big scheme of your career. Over time, it’s how you react to these tiny moments that create your brand, message and reality.