3 Keys to Crisis Communication
By Ricardo Ortizcazarin | President, Cazarin Interactive
Needless to say, in what seems to be our ever-changing reality it is hard to know what to say to our customers. Now that we have sent out our initial COVID-19 communication, what next?
- Do we continue with the same messaging we had planned?
- Do we pull back or do we rev up?
At the end of the day, good marketing is about good and effective communication. We need to meet our customers where they are at and have an authentic conversation. Here are three keys to crisis communication thanks in-part to our friends at Genoo, SharpSpring, and StoryBrand who have all done an excellent job of teaching and exemplifying these values.
1. Communicate with care. Remember that your customers are likely going through all of the same challenges you are experiencing. Acknowledge the difficulty, don’t ignore it. If you can, consider adjusting your pricing or offer something of value for free to help your customers get by despite tighter budgets. They won’t forget your help when things lighten up again. Keep in mind that many of them will be anxious and will react negatively to every situation. Listen, listen, listen and keep your cool all the time.
2. Communicate with confidence. Remind your customers that you are still here and that your commitment to them has not changed. Your customers are looking for hope and you can provide that to them. They want to know that we will make it through this together. Use facts in your conversations.
3. Communicate with consistency. Revamp and focus your communication but by all means don’t stop. Now more than ever your customers need to hear from you. Even if your customers aren’t in a place to purchase your products or services right now they will need them again sooner or later. Be the company that they remember when the time comes.
Finally, try to find ways to help your customers even if you don’t benefit directly from your efforts financially. For example, if you are in a B2B setting, you can provide information about the SBA. In B2B and B2C settings, you can share the positive ways in which you and your team are coping with the pandemic. In my case, I am cooking a lot more with my daughters and enjoying time together.
Authentic communication using these three keys will help you strengthen your relationship with your customers and when they are able to purchase your products or services again they will.