Communication with customers plays the most important role during the time of any type of crisis. Whether it’s a recession, war, local emergency, or global issue like COVID-19, businesses must have a crisis communication plan in place for their customers.
Communication during the crisis goes beyond making changes to marketing messages. Crisis communication plan is mainly to show your care for your customers and offer a helping hand to them during the difficult times of the crisis.
This communication plan must extend to customer service teams, your website, social media, and more. Many IT consulting service firms offer various communication solutions to reach your customers effectively.
Though some crises can not be controlled, the way you respond to it can make a huge difference.
The following are the tips that will help you to communicate with your customers during the times of crises:
1. Show Your Care For Your Customers
People seek care and support during times of uncertainty and crisis. Sending a simple message to your customers showing them that you’re aware of the issue and offering helpful resources could completely change your position in the minds of the customers.
The customers should feel that there is someone who cares for them and understands their situation. This will not only help you to gain more respect but will also give you more loyal customers.
Social media, email, or your online community and forums are the best medium to communicate with your customers brief and immediate messages.
2. Be Proactive In Your Communications
During the time of a crisis like the recent outbreak of COVID 19 the customers are more dependent on you than usual. During such an event you need to be more proactive with your communication and announce any changes or impacts to your business immediately.
If you are coming up with a new service or discontinuing an existing product or service due to the crisis then do not make the customers hunt for the information. Proactive communication will ensure that the customers have all the information and will free up staff to focus on tasks other than answering the same customer questions over and over again.
Build a communication that will be suitable for all the channels, including email, SMS, push notifications, social media, IVR systems, chatbot introductions, etc.
Create a communication approach that is designed to inform customers as well as employees in equal measure.
3. Create Personalized Messages For Different Stakeholders
Different stakeholders play different important roles in your organization. Each stakeholder is equally important for the success of your business. The different stakeholders include customers, employees, suppliers, investors, etc.
For maintaining effective communication with the customers and other stakeholders, you need to come up with personalized messages for different stakeholders and make sure that the message is by a known person from the company.
4. Try To Reach Your Customers Through Multiple Medias
During the situation of crises, it might get difficult to interact with your customers. The best way to interact with your customer is by choosing a more intruding channel like SMS because the mobile phone is used throughout the day and the crisis requires their immediate attention.
Using just one channel for communication might not be that effective as not everyone might have access to all the channels. Using multiple channels is the best way to communicate with your customers. Business consulting service providers help you to choose the best channels to reach your customers.
Few other channels perfect to reach your customers during crises are emails, social media, online forums, etc.
5. 0ffer A Helping Hand To Your Customers
Show your kindness to your customers by lending a helping hand during the time of crisis. Help doest mean that you have to provide some monetary help, but it can be as simple as providing some tips, information, and measures to cope up with the crisis.
In the recent crisis of COVID 19, many medicine suppliers are waiving prescription medicine delivery fees. Even small businesses are coming forward to help the customers in different ways such as providing free delivery to senior citizens. Many businesses distributed free face masks and gloves to the people.
6. Inspire Your Customers To Help Others
Other than directly lending a helping hand, you as an organization can inspire many capable individuals to help others. During the time of crisis, there are many people who are not affected by it and are in a position to help others. You can be a catalyst and an inspiration for those people.
7. Audit Your Content
You need to continuously review your messages, your social media posts, promotional and transactional emails, push notifications, and SMS, to identify communications that need to modified, paused, or removed as per the situation.
If you don’t monitor your messages and content then there is a risk of damaging your brand if a message comes off as insensitive, inaccurate or seeking to capitalize on a disaster.