COVID-19 Communication Guide

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.

If YES:
→ 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.
If YES:
→ 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:
– 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:
– 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:
– 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!


Relationship Marketing

What It Is and How To Properly Use It

According to HubSpot, Relationship Marketing is, “a type of marketing that focuses on cultivating deeper, more meaningful relationships with customers to ensure long-term satisfaction and brand loyalty.”

Studies have shown that retaining current customers can at times bring in more revenue than bringing in new customers. It also usually costs less to keep your current customers happy, according to Frederick Reichheld of Bain & Company. Of course, we’re not saying that you should not be trying to attract new customers, but you should also be making sure that you are doing what you can to best retain your current customers that are worth keeping.

So, since you now know what Relationship Marketing is and why you should be working to retain customers, how do you do it properly?

To start, you have to get clients, right? Here are some tips for guidelines on following up. Remember that these guidelines can change and will depend on each client. Just like no snowflake is the same, the same goes for customers. 

  1. Whenever you contact a customer, set the expectation right away so they know that you will be following up.
  2. Set an expectation of when they will get their proposal and what will be included.
  3. Let them know that you will be following up with them after X amount of days of when you sent the proposal.
    1. If it is a time-sensitive project then wait no longer than two days for a callback.
  4. Always follow through with the expectations that you set for them.
  5. Make sure that the customer knows that you’re there for them, but do not live and die by their business.

Now the customer has the proposal, has agreed to it, and is now ready to start working with you. Of course, expectations are different depending on what type of industry you are in. Construction companies, for example, will only be with customers as long as their project lasts. However, if they do a good job and are respectful and courteous, then they will probably get word of mouth recommendations along with staying top of mind for future projects that may come along with repeat customers.

To have customers stay with your business and stay happy, follow these tips.

  • Make sure that you check in with your contact every so often. This should not be every week, as that could be too much. But once a month, check-in with them to see how they feel everything is going and how they are doing. 
  • Make sure that you’re not always talking business or trying to sell more services or products, but show that you genuinely care.
  • Consider holidays or certain times to send small gifts or cards to show that you care and appreciate their business. 
  • If you see something that could help them with their business, such as an article, send it to them.
  • If you are having customer appreciation or VIP events including sales or offers, have them be the first to know.

Again, no size fits all with these tips and guidelines. The main thing is to show that you care for the customers and appreciate them. Setting expectations helps them to know when they should hear from you and following through with these expectations shows a lot, since not every company would do that.

We know that there is a lot that goes into running a successful business and it can certainly seem overwhelming at times. We are always here to help in any way we can. Even if you just need someone to grab a coffee with and talk things through, we love coffee and good conversation. Contact us today so we can schedule a time to meet!