The global public health crisis caused by COVID-19 has caused every aspect of working life to be re-imagined. From sanitizing equipment to working remotely, from updates on colleagues to massive disruption in logistics, supply, and demand, new strategies had to be implemented on short notice.
Amid the disruption, changes needed to be communicated quickly, clearly, and effectively to employees, customers, and strategic partners. If even one link in the chain fell through the cracks, the potential for loss was significant for human resources, customer experience, and business continuity as a whole.
Of course, even though COVID is the prevailing crisis on our minds these days, it’s not the only scenario that gives rise to these concerns. Major storm events, natural disasters, transportation crises, or company-wide changes, like bankruptcy, closures, or mergers, all require transparency and finesse, or the company stands to lose a lot.
Comms in a Crisis: Internal vs. External Strategies
While successful businesses have always prioritized communication, the needs that arise during a crisis are a bit different. And while internal and external comms are a bit different, the general purposes are the same—to inform, educate, console, and connect.
A customer communication management (CCM) solution supports these activities, aligning stakeholders and streamlining the messaging, even when teams are working remotely. WayPath’s CCM solution helps teams deliver relevant information quickly, ensuring the right message gets in front of the right people at the right time.
In communicating with your customers, you need to state your position clearly, transparently, and demonstrate consistency:
- Have there been changes to your services?
- What can they expect going forward?
- What are you doing to ensure their safety and satisfaction?
- What useful resources can you offer to help them through?
Along with this information, you need to provide details around any policy changes, such as return/refund policies, extended lead times, or providing the option to put their subscriptions on hold.
You must also console them, both to allay their fears and also to be completely honest about how you intend to help. Statements that come directly from company leadership are powerful and unifying, but take care not to over-promise. They’ll need to know you’re there when they need you, and they’ll appreciate the things your CCM system does behind the scenes to make that possible.
Internal Communication Strategy
Company communications in a crisis work on the same principles, but they take on a decidedly different tone. As with external messaging, transparency is absolutely critical as it dispels rumors, reduces panic, and keeps morale high.
Employees need to know:
- What changes they can expect. Are you closing the office and switching to remote?
- How it’s going to affect the workforce, teams, and individual positions. Let them know what the solutions are and how/when they will be implemented.
- Reach out individually. Every employee will have different concerns, and it’s critical to give each one your full attention to ensure they feel valued.
- Remain professional, but make it personal. Your connection to them should be reflected in your tone.
- Be understanding of their individual circumstances. Offer flexible work options to allow for things like child care, homeschooling, and mental health concerns.
- Give them the tools they need to stay connected and organized. For example, if they don’t have fast internet or adequate technology/software at home, provide them with what they need to support their workflows.
How WayPath CCM Helps in a Crisis
In navigating any crisis, communications strategy is critical. WayPath CCM enables meaningful connections with both customers and employees, helping you reach them on their own terms and providing interactive solutions that answer all your communication needs.
Get in touch today to learn more about WayPath solutions.