Everyone’s talking about Coronavirus. This pandemic is impacting our society in many ways. Major events have been cancelled, companies are encouraging employees to work remotely if possible, schools are closing or switching to online-only instruction, and we’re being urged to adopt “social distancing” – the World Health Organization explains that this is maintaining a physical distance of at least three feet between yourself and anyone you see who is coughing or otherwise appears ill.
While this is all going on, you still have a business to run. Your customers still have needs and concerns. In this uncertain environment, they’re going to have questions, including things like:
- Are you still open for business?
- Is this upcoming event going to happen as scheduled?
- What impact does COVID-19 have on my order?
- Are the products I’d like to order currently available?
- Is it safe to use products from a specific place of origin, such as China or Italy?
- Have I been exposed to Coronavirus while visiting your place of business?
- What precautions do I need to take to protect myself when visiting your facility?
- And more.
This list is not exhaustive, because this situation is developing rapidly and additional concerns may arise. What’s important to understand is that good customer service means pro-actively addressing these types of questions via your messaging. This is a demonstration of competence and concern that matters during times of crisis.
The type of messaging you need to share will vary depending on what type of business you’re in. B2B companies are facing a lot of questions about supply chain concerns, delivery timelines, and product safety, whereas B2C companies are receiving more experiential questions, such as are you open and how will ongoing operations be affected.
When composing your message, here’s what to keep in mind:
- Remember it’s best to keep the copy short and to the point. You don’t need to write pages of explanation: everyone is aware of Coronavirus, so there’s no need to tell the backstory. Write only enough to say everything you have to say.
- Hate writing? Make a video on your phone if you’re more comfortable. The message is what matters, not the medium.
- Make sure your information is absolutely accurate. If there are concerns you can’t address with absolute accuracy, say so. An example of this is, “We know that some of our overseas orders have been delayed, but at this point, we don’t know for how long.” When you do this, it is vital to let your customers know that you will update them with the correct information as soon as it becomes available.
There are several ways to share messaging about Coronavirus with your customers.
- If you have a physical location, you need signage in public areas letting the public know any relevant information you’d like them to be aware of. For example, a conference center nearby had signage regarding the new No Handshakes policy they’re implementing for the duration of the crisis. Signs don’t have to be fancy – you can print out something simple on your computer – but you do need them. People look for signs.
- Digitally, you can disseminate your COVID-19 messaging in a few ways.
- Email marketing is a smart choice: craft your subject line & preview text carefully as that may be all your customers read.
- Text messaging may be appropriate for the high-touch business serving people who are potentially most-at risk, such as older customers or those with health challenges. The high open rate for text messages makes them a good choice for critical messaging.
- You can use social media to share your Coronavirus messaging when appropriate. It may be a good idea to pin relevant posts to the top of your social media feed for the duration of this crisis so they’re the first thing customers see when they visit your page.
- Finally, include Coronavirus messaging prominently on your website. Best practice would be a home page mention as well as a blog or article written specifically to address search queries relevant to your business.
Time is of the essence, but you want to make sure you’re handling everything appropriately. If you need help making this happen, our team is here for you. Just give us a ring, and we’ll help you get the bases covered.