Global crisis is not something most of us face during our lifetimes. So when you encounter one, it’s ok to be confused and have a hundred questions. Coronavirus has been difficult for all of us, from solopreneurs to Fortune 500 companies.
Prioritizing your employees, community, and managing your business in such an ambiguous time is tricky. Companies are faced with many crucial decisions that can have a massive impact on their business. Making adjustments and aligning your workforce with the way your business chooses to operate. Some companies are working remotely, and others are shutting down until this passes. Take whatever measure necessary for the safety of your employees, customers, and our community.
While some businesses have paused everything from marketing to purchasing software, others have adopted the remote working world pretty quickly. Technology has made this situation a little easier to manage, from video calls, meeting scheduling apps to collaboration tools; everything comes handy.
It is easy to get demotivated during challenging times, but sustaining and enhancing the customer journey is more critical now than it ever was.
Form a Crisis Management Team
One thing about a crisis is that you cannot predict in what way it can hit your business, but taking necessary precautions will help you get through it smoothly when it does. So your business must put a crisis management team in place that will be responsible for the message that goes out in public.
Include people from your PR or marketing teams, support, and HR team. Ideally, a brand manager, PR, or a communication manager should drive this initiative. In case you don’t have someone, you can train one of your employees to act as a spokesperson, answer any queries that might arise.
Look out for your People
Filtering out the noise from the ocean of information get’s even more challenging when a disaster strikes. In such times the new data renders the existing practices obsolete. The number of fake news and incorrect information rises drastically. It makes it even more important to protect your people in such a scenario.
Be flexible and offer work from home or remote working, making commute optional. Technology has made it easy for businesses to adapt to remote working. Reduce working hours, share a common knowledge base, and update your work policies during the crisis. Small things can be comforting at such a time.
Choose the right channels for communication.
The mode of communication is just as important as the information or message you deliver—social media posts, emails, or a dedicated webpage to share how you plan to manage it. Be consistent and stay connected with your customers. Be proactive and listen to your customers, respond to their inquiries, grievances, and ask for feedback. Ask them what you can do to improve things.
Don’t compromise on your service.
Decisions impact businesses, whether it is short term or long term. Having a plan helps. Find alternatives to any change that has the potential to influence your customer service, experience, or product quality. During such times, we have to pull resources from areas that we can and put them to use in crucial areas. Some organizations pause new projects, and some cut down on marketing activities, some cut down the workforce. If you don’t have experienced staff, that will harm your customer experience. Make sure you’re not making cuts in the wrong place.
Anything less-than-the-usual will be noticed, provide familiarity in a time of chaos.
Provide better support
Communication is a crucial thing, right from your employees, customers, investors, suppliers, and vendors.
Evaluate and estimate different circumstances that may arise due to the crisis (COVID-19), and how they may hit the organization everyone associated with it. Prepare procedures and response modules for as many scenarios as you can for timely communication. Be empathetic, have a plan of action, and respond.
Maintain Supply Chain
During a crisis making sure that you have enough supply, especially if you are into B2C products. Day to day products like pulses and toiletries run out fast as people stock up. It’s important to keep meeting the demands in difficult times. While quality is non-negotiable, quantity does matter too when it comes to meeting the expectations of the consumers. Whereas for software firms or web-based businesses, providing a flawless service takes precedence. Assisting your existing customers trumps acquiring new business.
Be prepared for delays in your product and services, but make sure that you also prepare for customers’ questions and needs as they may change rapidly in the coming months. Clarity is not something you don’t have when you are facing a global crisis like COVID-19. As the situation progresses, you might want to improve and update the crisis management strategy.