During this pandemic, it’s important to integrate tact, empathy and mindfulness into all of your external communications. Here are three tips to consider as we navigate these uncertain times.
Communicating with Customers and Clients
Customers want to be assured that your organization is doing all it can to remain stable. Make sure you proactively identify possible concerns, like lead time disruptions or changes to your specification process. Develop messaging that alleviates those concerns by addressing how you are planning for any delays in processing or timing and how you may be making substitutions, if necessary. Customers will also want to know what steps you are taking to protect them from exposure to the virus, if there is any risk in your industry.
Most importantly, keep your customers informed with clear and specific messaging. The more transparent your business is with the steps you are taking during the pandemic, the more comfortable your customers will feel. With that in mind, be careful not to release new branded information or company news that may come across as tone deaf. It is also best to delay new product launches until after the crisis has subsided. It is likely that these types of announcements will be lost in the news cycle and may be viewed as insensitive to the world’s events. Instead, focus your energy on getting all the assets and communication pieces you need prepped for the launch so that when the time comes, you’re already poised.
Communicating on Social Media
The coronavirus crisis is evolving constantly—almost hour by hour. Because of the nature of this unique situation, it is important to closely monitor your business’ social media posts. Be especially aware of pre-scheduled posts that may send a less-than-ideal message.
This is where empathy is important. Make sure your business shows its heart. Get creative with your messaging, and don’t be afraid to use video on social media. It can be a valuable touch point when people feel isolated and adds an important human connection to your messaging. Your customers can tie individuals and real-life situations to your brand.
As with any communication, but especially on social media where what you post goes live instantly, take time to think. Ask if you and your business are being helpful and providing value to your customers. Are you offering important information? Is your information being shared in a positive and encouraging way? You don’t want to add to the noise or be seen as insensitive. Really examine the impact your content will have on your followers.
Communicating Plans for Cancelled Trade Shows
Many of your customers have learned that highly anticipated architecture and builder trade shows have been cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19 they are going to wonder how you will release the information that would have been presented at the event. Consider holding a video conference, webinar or live panel for would-be attendees. Also, online CEUs are ideal for those who need to catch up on credits and can easily replace in-person lunch-and-learns.
If your customers are more receptive to reading, a whitepaper or eBook is the perfect tool to share your message. Since you already have a list of emails from show attendees, it’s easy to send them a link to download your new resource.
While nothing is the same as a face-to-face meeting or the excitement and energy of a big conference or event, it’s still important to let your customers know that you’re on top of the latest trends and developments in the industry. Now, more than ever, your customers want to be reassured that they can depend on you.
Successfully Navigate Uncertain Times
Communicating on all levels is the key to making sure customers continue to rely on you and look to you as an industry leader. Continue to keep them well-informed, using creative resources, such as social media and video conferencing, wisely and considerately. Don’t forget to remain modest, but still wear your business heart on your sleeve. Be more empathetic and thoughtful of all the uncertainty around us. Finally, and most of all, communicate openly and honestly to succeed in these uncharted waters.