A guide to help communicate with your consumers during COVID-19 business changes
Communicating with your customers and clients when a new mandate is released is vital to the success of your business. Some businesses are affected to the fullest extent and others are not affected at all, and it is our job as business owners, marketers, and PR directors to make sure that the community knows what the new mandates are, if they have affected your business or not, how they will be affected by those changes, and who they can contact for more information if they need it. The better you communicate with the consumers, the better chance you have to succeed in this ever-changing business climate that is currently being driven by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Below are some of the main general questions that consumers, clients and customers want to know about your business during COVID-19 and regarding new mandate changes. We have also listed some suggestions on how to answer them.
Remember that you might have different services or adjustments that may go to different audiences, so your messages and their mediums will need to be tailored to those specific people.
You will also likely send out your information in different rounds which include different levels of information. For example, your first round will be more broad as you digest the new mandate information and figure out how to adjust and your next rounds will include more details as you adjust your services based on the needs of your consumers during the new mandates.
General Consumer Questions:
ARE YOU CLOSING?
If NO → How does this affect your business?
→ Even if there are very little or no changes to your business, you should still communicate that there have been new mandates set forth by the state, and they do not affect your normal business operations and if anyone has any questions, how can they get a hold of you.
→ Make it clear when you plan to close (date & time)
→ Make it clear when you plan to reopen (date & time)
*The mandate dates & times may not be specific enough to your business hours
Does your business generally charge a monthly fee?
If NO → Skip to the next question.
→ Explain how you plan to move forward with the monthly fee?
→ WILL THEY STILL BE CHARGED?
→ Are you offering something different to make up for not having (some/all) your services available?
Are you adjusting your services?
→ These may be adjusting as you go, so be broad but let people know where they can go to keep updated on these adjusted services and then as they adjust – continue to communicate with your consumers.
Where can they go to get more information?
→ This can be your website, social media, client logins, emails, texts, etc.
Who can they contact for questions? (One point person.)
→ You may have one or more people taking questions while you are open, closed, or have adjusted services. Just make sure to be clear on who the public should contact.
Make sure to have help checking all of your public-facing information. It takes at least 2 sets of eyes (and brains) to make sure you get all of your bases covered!
Where to change this information: (UPDATE OFTEN AND WHEN THERE ARE ANY CHANGES)
– Website (Pop-up: we don’t like them, but they are really effective in this situation)
– Website – HOME PAGE
– Website – COVID-19 Update Page (Create or keep updated if you have a page)
– Social Media – Create COVID-19 UPDATE (FB & GMB)
– Social Media – PIN THE POST
– Social Media – Change your Banner image to reflect the changes
– Social Media – Create Highlights (IG)
– Social Media – Change Profile and Info pages
– Social Media – Change Hours if needed
– Social Media – Change COVID Services if needed (FB)
– Google Listing – Create COVID-19 Posts (1 per week with updates)
– Google Listing – Change Hours
– Google Listing – Change Services
DIRECT COMMUNICATION LINES TO YOUR CLIENTS & CUSTOMERS:
– Direct communication lines like Emails, Text Messages, and Business Apps are great ways to get your information out immediately but sometimes are forgotten in the hustle of distributing new information.
– Remember to use these more direct messages cautiously and consistently, but do not overwhelm your clientele by respecting their information and time.
COVID-19 has brought not only challenges to businesses and communities but also opportunities for increased communication with your business’s consumers, clients and customers. Whether the operations of your business have been altered because of the pandemic or they have stayed the same, it is important to provide information frequently. From your website to social media to your Google Listing, it is vital for your business to communicate consistently across multiple channels. In a time of uncertainty, make sure your business gives inquiring minds what they want to know.
Interested in Downloading the Covid-19 Communication Guide pdf? Fill out the form below!