1) Continue to communicate – Communication is key. Communicating clearly to your team and your clients about what’s going on and what the plan is.
Human nature is to be uncomfortable with the unknown, so make sure your team understands the plan, feels heard, and feels comfortable with what will be taking place.
Communication to clients and customers is also crucial. People are sitting in front of their computers and on their cell phones more than ever before, so use this to your advantage and get your messaging in front of them. Continue to send emails and post on social. Going dark is going to make them feel that you don’t care, aren’t really working on whatever it is they need, and could temporarily make them forget you exist.
2) Be Authentic – Your communication strategy to your clients and customers should always be authentic, but it is more important now than ever before. People are scared and uncertain, so being real and genuine will garner you the best results so they trust you and know you will do what you are saying.
3) Use Empathy in your Communication– You should acknowledge that times are tough, and you are here for your customers in any way possible. If your brand is bold and brash, you don’t have to completely change your tone, but you should dial it back at this time. Be true to your brand, while taking an approach of being a caring citizen, and demonstrating we’re all in this together. If your business is able to provide food or deliver masks, it serves multiple purposes for your company. You are being socially responsible, helping your community, and creating the halo effect – the tendency for an impression created in one area to influence opinion in another area.
4) Start or Continue to Advertise – There’s a lot of data that shows businesses who advertised in 2009 during the recession fared much better once the recession was over. While this isn’t a recession, the same applies here. Make sure to get your message out BEFORE your business is allowed to re-open. This will create excitement around your business/products coming back, but also create excitement around some sense of normalcy returning. Before COVID, clients and customers used you/purchased from you, so anything that can bring them closer to that time is a good thing. Many businesses have cut their marketing budgets. Use this to your advantage. Your message will now be seen by more people for a cheaper cost.
5) Show How You’re Evolving – Have you pivoted to have a new offering now? Do you have new rules in place for how you’ll do business? Be as transparent as possible and back to tip #1, communicate all changes. Demonstrate how this time has changed your business, and how you’re coming out on top because of it.