Crisis Management: How Can You Talk to Your Customers About COVID-19?

crisis management

Part of Crisis Management is Don’t Stop Talking to Your Customers.

Crisis management, by definition, is the preparation and application of strategies and tactics that can prevent or modify the impact of major events on the company or organization.

The Public Health Emergency, called COVID-19, has impacted everyone in one way or another. Many businesses and organizations have a crisis management plan in place while other organizations are scrambling.

What do you say? What do you say when it’s hard to find the words? What do you say to your customers?

With this worldwide COVID-19 outbreak, nations have declared states of emergency. Worldwide travel, if not already, has shut down.

Schools are being shut down, and many schools have said they will not return. Talk about family and work disruption. Here’s an idea go buy a set of encyclopedias and have your kids read them. Heck, I read both the Worldbok and Britainatica encyclopedia.

World Health Organization (WHO) has declared a global pandemic.

The effects on the global economy will develop over the next few months. Still, entrepreneurs, startups, and small businesses are bracing for the impact. The impact is high as people use social distancing, avoid public places and work from home.

You may find it hard to communicate with your customers at a time like this, because right now:

  • You are probably worried about your health and family
  • The health of your business
  • You can’t find the word to say

Still, your customers need to hear from you. 

Wondering what happens next. You can help your customers by letting them know what’s next for you and your business. Don’t stop talking to your customers.

I’ve been through a few worldwide disasters, but this one takes the cake. The impact is deep and wide. And I’ve had to manage crises before. It impacts everyone differently, and now is the time to care for your fellow man and do your part.

Let’s dig into crisis management and how you can communicate with your customers better.

What to say to your customers about COVID-19

Many businesses are sending emails, tweets, and Facebook posts about COVID-19. 

It makes sense — the Public Health Emergency is changing rapidly, and the economy is changing. If you run a business, now is the time you want to be staying in touch with your customers and help them in this crisis.

Some communications have information about the state of the business impact. For example, are you holding office hours? What precautionary measures the business takes, food delivery is handling this well right now.

Any message you send is likely one of many, and customers are getting overwhelmed.

Here is how to reduce inbox clutter?

  1. You can share specific updates related to the status of your business, and your website is the perfect spot, but operate the phone too.
  2. Use marketing automation and segmentation of your customers’ list to make sure your messages go to the right contacts in your database
  3. You should look for ways to offer your support. Times are hard and maybe for a while, so help your community.

We at Matrix Marketing Group offer free consulting and support to our community.

Follow these suggestions.

1. Share your company updates that affect your customers and community

Does this crisis affect the way customers interact with your business?

Do your existing customers have questions? If they have a question about how they can contact you? Or if you will be available in the places they expect, like your social channels.

Internal company communications:

  • What has changed because of the situation (employee work at home, closures, service issues, and other communications)
  • What steps you’re taking in response to this issue

At the beginning of the crisis, many companies started offering online options. 

Here’s an example of a SaaS company email to its customers.

It includes traditional businesses that have never been online companies.

The current state is far from ideal, but we will get through this.

Matrix Marketing Group has seen many businesses adapt quickly:

  • Teachers and psychology counselors are offering remote sessions
  • Universities and colleges have switched over to online learning
  • Physical companies redouble their efforts on ecommerce
  • And teleconferencing is up (Google Hangout, ZOOM, or BlueJeans).

Sharing that information with your customers is essential right now.

Try to take as much of your business online.

2. Be sure to send the right messages to the right people

Is your inbox full? Mine is, but a little more than usual.

There are too many businesses sending messages to too many people. So add your information to a designated web page, pop-up, banner, or blog post.

You must ensure that the right people get your message at the right time. Don’t piss off your customers. And if this is new to you, rethink your marketing.

You must segment your list. By list segmentation, you reach only the interested people. 

Follow these examples to improve the targeting related to the coronavirus update:

Information about what your customers are interested in, who’s the most interested, and who’s most engaged can help you show people exactly what they want to see.

3. Look for ways to offer your support with your crisis management

We are in an unprecedented moment, facing an unpredictable future. As we practice social distancing (a common term now) and follow updates on this alarming situation, we have also noticed an incredible outpouring of people lending their support.

How can you give back? Not everyone is in a position that lets them — but don’t underestimate the value of what you offer. Individuals have risen to offer their time and expertise through large-scale global relief efforts and aid for hourly workers. 

Some examples we’ve seen include:

  • Communities in Colorado crowdsourcing lists of affected businesses and how to support them
  • Experts giving away their knowledge for free — through webinars or one-on-one coaching
  • Online education centers giving away free courses or offering curricula to parents suddenly forced to home-school their children

What Matrix Marketing Group is Doing

Here at Matrix Marketing Group, we have been closely monitoring the COVID-19 pandemic, affecting thousands of people worldwide. 

It’s a hard time for everyone. As Managing Director of Matrix Marketing Group, it is my responsibility and Matrix Marketing Group to inform our community we are doing everything we can to support our community, customers, and families.

Our worldwide clients come from almost every industry, and our services support critical marketing operations for many customers. From healthcare startups to SaaS companies and thousands of businesses, many of our customers are scrambling to provide continuity in their organization’s operations. 

With that in mind, we are committed to helping our customers, and the community gets through this together.

These are unprecedented times.

As a company, a marketing agency, our commitment to our community and helping people is one of our founding principles. 

To help our customers, we ensure that they continue to receive quality service without the disruption they have expected over the last 20 years.

As always, Matrix Marketing Group customers can book a one-on-one session with a Matrix Marketing Group to discuss changes you can make in your business.

We’re here to help!

Warm regards from me and the Matrix Marketing Group team!

General FAQs on Crisis Management

What is crisis management?

Crisis management is a process designed to prevent or lessen the damage a crisis can inflict on an organization and its stakeholders.

Why is crisis management important?

Employees adjust well to the sudden changes in the organization. Employees can understand and analyze the causes of the crisis and cope with it in the best possible way. Crisis Management helps the managers devise strategies to come out of uncertain conditions and decide on the future course of action.

How to handle a crisis in small businesses?

If your small business just ended up in the middle of a crisis, follow these steps to recover:
1. Assess the situation objectively.
2. Maintain an honest media profile.
3. Outline a crisis management plan (you might want to get help from an expert).
4. Adapt, improvise, and overcome.

What is the purpose of crisis management?

A business can experience several types of crises, ranging from data breaches to executive misconduct. The goal of crisis management is to have a system in place to effectively address the coordinated response, resources, and internal and external communication requirements during and after a negative situation.

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