In these completely unprecedented times, it’s so easy to feel overwhelmed and confused about what actions you need to be taking to stay connected with your customers, teams, clients and anyone else you do business with.
It might feel tempting to go quiet, but nothing undermines a ‘business as usual’ message more than cutting back on communications. People are looking to you for reassurance, but they also want to see that you are taking precautions to protect them as well as your own team.
We have been staying in really close contact with our clients this week and the question that continues to crop up (understandably) is “how can we reassure our customers?” So, we’ve written this guide to share some of the things we’ve been doing.
This is a fast-evolving situation and email is still one of the most effective types of comms. We’ve been supporting our clients to use email to inform their customers, prospects and professional connections of their plans over the coming weeks.
You may want to explain whether you are open, working remotely or closed; how you can be contacted; what precautions are in place to protect their wellbeing and that of your team. Naturally, you’ll want to be calm and reassuring – and sensitive to their needs.
NB: You may want to refrain from trying to ‘sell’ anything at the moment unless it answers a genuine need so make sure any scheduled marketing emails are postponed.
2. Social Media
If there are ways your business can look to provide support or assistance, that’s a really positive message to be sharing on social media right now. Reduced social contact is going to be having a real impact on people’s mental health and as such, offering ways for people to engage online is a great way to build engagement and connection with your audience.
Social media is also an excellent tool for keeping your clients, prospects and other connections up to date with the latest precautions you are taking. Things are changing very quickly at the moment and the likes of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn are excellent places to stay connected with the people that matter the most to your business.
3. Website Updates
The website is often the first point of contact for your audience so it is definitely worth posting a news article about your response to the COVID-19 situation. The next step is ensuring your web visitors see what steps you are taking. We recommend a non-intrusive banner right at the top of your website which links to the article.
However, your news articles don’t just have to be used to share your response. You may be in an opportunity to provide helpful information to your connections, which will stand you in good stead further down the line. Perhaps you have some great tips about insurance, finance, leadership, homeworking, staying healthy? This sort of content is hugely valuable at the moment.
4. Video Conferencing
We’ve all had meetings and events cancelled over the last week but it’s really important to maintain face to face contact as far as we possibly can. An excellent way of doing this is through video conference calls.
Here at The Loft, we use Microsoft Teams. It has numerous features such as video calls, audio calls, instant chat and file sharing. It can also collaborate with third party apps. Some other popular video conferencing tools include Zoom, Skype and Google Hangouts.
5. Project Management
Now that you can’t simply pop across the office to someone’s desk to check what they’re doing or assign them a new task, you may need a new way of organising responsibilities. Asana is a project management tool that we have been using internally for a long time. We find it really useful for manging team tasks, projects and workflows.
It is used by some huge companies like Tesco and Red Bull. There are four different plans to choose from. The basic plan is totally free and offers a vast array of PM and task management tools.
Is there anything we can help you with?
Right now we all need to pull together and support each other. If we can help you in ANY way, let us know. We don’t have all the answers but we can work together to find the best way forward for you.