The world is fighting an uphill battle against the COVID-19 pandemic. There are challenges galore in the form of clients wanting reassurance, social isolation, teetering financial markets, health scares, all of these amidst the pressing work deadlines. Outlined in this article are strategies to communicate effectively with clients during the COVID-19 crisis.
Begin with prioritizing clients to contact & check on their physical, mental & financial wellness. Classifying clients by industry would be best suited to carry out this task. Mass communication platforms could be email, webinars, or podcasts, eliminating the need for individual attention. Clients are sure to appreciate the time you are proactively spending on them, serving as an able investment for better times. Consider utilizing knowledgeable professionals in your firm with the skills to reach out to clients through calls. Their major qualities would be sound listening skills, raising questions gently with clients, and efficient follow-ups. The major objective of such outreach activities is to soothe the raffled nerves of your clients and support them through this crisis.
Ensure your staff is up-to-date on information relating to the relief programs. The call objectives should be check-in on clients during these testing times, the well-being of their family & business, discuss the impact of COVID-19, their concerns, opportunities to explore, and how you can help. If deemed necessary, your staff need to be equipped to swiftly share pertinent information on government relief measures & application protocols at their disposal. The more you talk to the clients, the better is your understanding of their unique concerns and ability to advise them with competence.
Industries hard hit by this crisis include travel, entertainment, restaurants, health & beauty care providers, religious organizations among many others. These businesses will need expert help in implementing better cash flow management measures, revisiting forecasted budgets, trimming expenses, and laying off excess workforce as may be deemed fit. They may also require support to choose & apply for financial aid offered by the Government under the various available programs. Most clients will come to appreciate your suggestions on reviving ‘losing’ businesses and making difficult decisions such as layoffs or pay cuts.
On the other hand, sanitary & cleaning suppliers, retailers, e-commerce marketing companies, pharmaceutical companies, video conferencing & communication technology companies, online gaming & streaming platforms, logistics & delivery companies are all seeing a surge in their activities and benefiting greatly. They will require all the help you can offer on scaling up, budgeting, forecasting, and investments for the future.
Schedule follow-ups within the firm to ensure the clients receive the promised material, and info on additional services you can offer. A call recap with an outline of major points discussed and actionable items will serve as a good backup.
Embracing the changing business landscape, proactively reaching out to clients and prospects are a few ways to keep ahead of the curve and prepare for what lies ahead. Frequent and meaningful interactions with clients keep you connected, and in sync with their requirements & demands.
The COVID-19 crisis has permanently changed the way we look at things – a well-laid out client communication plan will be a handy roadmap to create lasting relationships. We are all in this together, and let your clients know you are doing everything you can to protect their investments and business.