3. Determine what and how you’re going to communicate to customers
The external strategy applies to your customers, stakeholders, shareholders, suppliers, community, and the media. These recipients are more interested in understanding how you plan to stay afloat during these turbulent times and what you’re doing to prevent the spread.
Consider creating a dedicated webpage to keep your customers and stakeholders in the loop as the virus progresses. If you don’t have the resources for that, social media posts and emails are a good way to reach people quickly.
Here are a few things you should do as you create an external communication plan:
- Focus on what’s most important to them.
Your customers will want to know what you’re doing to serve them. Will you send online orders later than usual? Are your store hours changing? Will customers need to reschedule appointments? Get this information in front of your customers as soon as possible, and let them know what you’re doing to make it right.
- Emphasize that safety is your top priority.
Customers also want to know what your business is doing to prevent the spread of the virus. Have you increased your cleaning services? Have you asked employees to work remotely or halted travel? Your customers want to know that they can purchase your products and services safely.
- Avoid making it about you.
Don’t use the coronavirus as a selling opportunity. Now is the time to focus on empathy. Make sure any advertising campaigns you’re running align with your key messaging around the coronavirus. This situation calls for increased sensitivity and diplomacy from everyone.