Effective Strategies for Communication in a Crisis Situation
Good communication between an organization and it’s customers, and amongst the employees of a company is one of the essential factors for achieving high customer satisfaction and maintaining strong working relationships. During a crisis situation, such as the current pandemic scenario, appropriate and quick communication becomes even more important to adequately address to the issues of the customers. But, in order to communicate effectively, contact center service managers needs to have a proper strategy in place.
“Good communication doesn’t just happen, it is the result of a good design” - Stephen Few
Here mentioned are a few crucial tips to communicate amid crisis situations:-
Draft a crisis communication plan
To begin with, you can create a crisis communication plan which outlines the goals, members of your crisis management team, key audiences, steps to take when crisis emerges and how to reach out to the customers. After drafting a plan, make sure that all your employees understand which initiatives need to be taken if they are confronted with an issue. Also, you need to identify an appropriate spokesperson who must have a comprehensive understanding of the company’s stance regarding an issue, and is capable of communicating it over the suitable channels.
Utilize different communication channels
Communicate with your audience by making use of multiple channels, such as email, voicemail, your website, and social media. Additionally, you need to update your information on various channels and provide updates not only online, but also via traditional channels. For example, update your voicemail message and notify your customers about any changes or new options in your service.
Communicate speedily without wasting time
According to a recent analysis by Hubspot, 80% of customers expect companies to respond to their social media inquiries within 24 hours, and 50% of customers claim that they would stop business with a company that fails to respond to a negative social media post. Hence, it is imperative to acknowledge crisis situations and communicate immediately. And, responding quickly to as many complaints as possible is critical to your customer service reputation and to your goal of building customer loyalty.
It is also essential to have a track of customer communications to ensure that your messaging is consistent, and there are several remote solutions that can be used to maintain a track of customer interactions.
Communicating with customers during the difficult times such as the recent outbreak of COVID-19 is a delicate process that you must handle carefully. While initiating a conversion with the customer, do not provide any irrelevant business details and at the same time refrain from being excessively promotional. However, businesses can still promote online shopping, virtual services, and digital products, as long as their messaging angle is helpful and promoted sensitively.
Also, while you should work with your communications team on what information you will be sharing with the customers, always remember that whatever you share needs to be the unadulterated truth.
If you are opting for a temporary business closure, you must frankly communicate about your decision to the customers. And, you may request them to support you during a tough time, by writing positive reviews about your product or service, commenting on social media posts, or telling others about your store or service.
After the crisis settles, evaluate your crisis-time performance, and follow up with your audience. A proper analysis of what was done right, what could be done in a better way next time, and how to improve various elements of crisis communication is a must to-do activity for a sustained growth of the organization.