As COVID-19 sends the world into shutdown, businesses are facing unprecedented challenges. As a business owner, it’s vital that you have an effective crisis communication plan to keep your customers up-to-date and reassured. Digital communication, especially via email, is essential for maintaining customer relationships and business continuity. But it’s also important that you use digital channels correctly and avoid any faux pas that would put your reputation at risk.
Your customers are apparently undergoing information overload right now. There’s a lot of noise. Do you actually want to continue to it? With the tremendous volume of COVID-19 emails being sent in current weeks, people have been fast to analyze the sending of inappropriate and non-targeted emails. Times are difficult enough right now. The latest thing you need is to expose your brand’s character.
Whether you send out a crisis communication all depends on your open-ended connection with customers and how your assistance to them has been affected by the crisis. Ask yourself: What important information do my customers need to know about doing business with me at this time? Only reach out if your message is truly important, instructive, and makes value. Don’t send an email for the benefit of it or just because everyone else is doing it.
So you’ve decided to go forward with sending a crisis communication to your customers. There are a few things to get your caption throughout first.
You’ll need to define:
It’s pleasant that you’ll need to create various messages and tailor them to various customer groups. Take every moment to segment your contact list, be it based on geography, demographics, or buying behavior. That’ll help guarantee the relevancy of your message.
Email is vast for producing targeted, timely communications to a general number of people. It signifies a direct line of communication with your customers and has a remote better chance of being read than a post on social media. It can also work out so cheap, depending on which email service provider you’re using. But, is there a standout understanding why so many brands have chosen to email during the COVID-19 crisis?
An email has the appropriate rule for a crisis status. This is something that social media channels need as they lead to be more comfortable and light-hearted. Another benefit of email is that it can be clearly referenced later.
With that in mind, let’s look at how you should approach crisis communication emails.
Stick to real facts and information. If you’re accurate and clear about the situation now, it’ll help you achieve expectations in the long run. Tell customers what they need to know: Opening/closing dates, product availability, back in stock dates, shipping delays, etc.
What solutions are you offering to customers in reply to the impacted service levels? How have you changed your business model to the current situation? Maybe you’ve changed your sit-down restaurant into a drive-through takeout, your physical store into e-commerce, or your farm business is now doing door-to-door deliveries of fresh vegetables. Whatever your new way of doing things, share all the certain details of how customers can continue to do business with you.
What are the usual common queries you’ve been getting so far? Maybe they’ve been about payments, cancellation policies, or shipping delays. Go through the questions you’ve received to pinpoint your customers’ central concerns. Address these right in your email copy and give any answers you can. Always be proactive. Reach out to customers with information first so they don’t have to come seeking it. This also eases the stress on your customer service email/phone line.
If your product or service can genuinely treat people, let them know about it – but be concerned about coming across as overly promotional.
Only talk about sanitization exercises when these actions have an immediate impression on the customer. Telling people about your inclusive hand-washing might make sense if you’re a food delivery business.
If you’re freely offering up certain services, adding this information to your crisis email communication can assist increased the word to those who can help.