During a crisis, a business that shows empathy genuinely addresses the needs of its potential clients would be more successful even after the crisis is over. A crisis is categorized as the unforeseen circumstances that can hit any business, any time, irrespective of its size, kind, or location. A crisis can range from an economic crisis or a technological crisis to a catastrophic natural crisis, and every business should have well-defined plans to manage and overcome crises if they arise.
The Coronavirus pandemic is perhaps the biggest crisis of this century – not only has it proved devastating for the health and wellbeing of people, but it has also led to severe financial challenges worldwide. The virus has halted businesses around the globe, but more importantly, the uncertainty of the situation is crippling businesses all around the world.
One thing that crisis revealed is that small and medium businesses were ill-prepared to deal with a crisis of this magnitude. Secondly, it highlighted the importance of marketing and brand management during a crisis; a company that is able to remain connected with its consumers during a crisis is likely to emerge out of the crisis stronger than before.
Business communication plays a critical role in ensuring this connection, and hence, businesses should focus on developing and maintaining a strong and cohesive communication plan. In this article, we present 4 of the most useful business communication strategies in case of a crisis:
1. Prepare A Communication Plan
When a crisis occurs, what is the first thing that you do? You pick up the phone and call your family and friends to establish contact. This is what a business must do as well; communicating with your stakeholders is essential to reassure them as well as to show concern for their safety. When the operations of a business are interrupted, stakeholders want to know how they will be affected by the change.
Similarly, employees want to know about their job security and the future of the organization. A business cannot afford to ignore its stakeholders. A business should be able to respond on time, precisely and confidently during and after a crisis. The potential stakeholders of the business must be reached with relevant information according to the need of time.
A good crisis communication plan can spread a positive image of the company. On the other hand, the lack of an effective communication plan can worsen the situation and create more problems for the business. Hence, it is essential that a company develops communication beforehand and handles the situation maturely.
2. Provide Helpful and Timely Information to Your Customers
Your customers are the most important assets you have. Try to reach your potential clients as soon as possible during a crisis. The confused customers look for connections when the situation is uncertain.
A crisis is a time to show your customers that you care about them. Spread useful information to your target customers to let them know that your business is aware of the crisis and is actively doing something to get out of it and entertain them as it did before.
In case the crisis is the company’s fault (such as delays in delivery), then accept responsibility and keep the stakeholders updated regarding the situation. However, in case the crisis is unprecedented, such as the Coronavirus, provide useful information to the consumer to let them know that they are your priority even during a crisis. For example, a carpet cleaning Hertforshire can provide useful cleaning and sanitization tips to its customers to stay safe from the virus.
Moreover, businesses should put the information that a customer normally seeks in an uncertain situation as quickly as possible. The official website or the social media accounts should provide the following information to business clients
- What are the working hours of business?
- Did the crisis change the products/services provided by the business?
- Is the business providing home delivery services?
- Do the clients need to book an appointment before visiting the business?
- Is the appointment procedure the same or changed?
- How the business is treating its employees during the crisis
- What is the plan developed by the business to cope with uncertain situations?
- How is your business helping people during this crisis?
For those businesses that already have an official website and social media accounts, it is the prime time to boost it and attract high traffic for it.
3. Be Authentic and Responsible, Don’t Spread False Information
It is the sole responsibility of a business to provide reliable information to its clients, employees, and other stakeholders. The same is expected in case of a crisis. A business should formulate authentic strategies to keep its customers updated regularly. Never opt for vague and untrue information just for the sake of attracting and retaining customers.
A business official website or social media accounts are the primary platforms that people visit to get relevant information. A business should upload current information about its products, services to remain transparent.
4. Utilize Social Media Channels
During a crisis, it is also important to keep your target customers connected with your business, and the use of social media channels cannot be overlooked. Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter are widely used to engage with consumers, promote their businesses, and offer customer support in case of any emergency. These are considered the quickest tools to reach a massive number in less time.
Today every single person has a smartphone in their hands, and they are usually logged on to any of their social media accounts to connect with their friends, families, or even their favorite business. So, reaching out to your potential clients through social media platforms is the best communication technique during a crisis.
On social media accounts, a business can not only provide information about its business operations during the crisis, but it can also promote sales in the short-term using tactics, such as discounts, giveaways, bundle pricing, and others.
No business in the world is immune to crisis. A crisis can be either human-made, or it can be a natural crisis. The role of effective communication cannot be neglected during crises, and businesses should develop well-defined plans to come out of these unforeseen circumstances. Stay connected with your customers and shows them that you really care. This is the time to establish relationships for long-term, mutually beneficial partnerships with your consumers.
Guest article by Shaheryar Sadiq
Shaheryar provides ghostwriting and copywriting services. His educational background in the technical field and business studies helps him in tackling topics ranging from career and business productivity to web development and digital marketing. He occasionally writes articles for Carpet Cleaning Hertfordshire.