A major component for success in business is how you communicate with your clients, while continuing to provide value-driven information in a way that resonates with your audience. During an emergency or crisis, it’s important to be prepared with tactics and processes that keep communication continuous. Although COVID-19 isn’t something our country has ever seen before, natural disasters such as hurricanes and floods are things that can easily shut down in-office business for periods of time. When your company is based in Houston, Texas, it has become something for which we’re always prepared. That being said, let’s go though some preparedness tactics to create or continue to strengthen your relationships during a crisis.
First and most importantly, it’s important to stay proactive. When change is happening daily across many industries, markets and regions, it is paramount that valued and helpful support tools are available. Pandemics (and other crises) can cause businesses to need information quickly. Instead of clients digging for the information they need, create web-based resources that give them everything need in one location. Outside of web-driven content, video conferences with your customers can help to quickly solve problems. Given the massive increase in licenses for webinar services such as Zoom, just about every business has adopted this solution in the past month.
Another important communication strategy is prioritization. Marketing for organizations often times focuses primarily on services, culture and news. That being said, by no means should that type of content completely disappear. Instead, a shifted approach of focusing on support information should be implemented. A good way to do this is by creating a content schedule. By simply making a daily content agenda, you can easily create a streamlined approach to content. For example, developing support content for Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, while saving Tuesday and Friday for updates about successes and culture. The goal is to provide content and information that is helpful, and not just more noise.
The next thing to focus on is training. Once you have defined processes and implemented your communications strategy, it is key to make sure everyone in your company is involved. This means that transparency is extremely important. One way that Insgroup does this is through company-wide Zoom meetings hosted by our President and CEO, Brian Kapiloff. These virtual gatherings give us the ability to stay informed, discuss solutions as a team and unwind a little. Last week, we held a Zoom video call with full participation from Insgroup colleagues and opened up at least half of the call for questions and answers. Transparency and open dialogue have been two key components to our success while working remotely.
Lastly and possibly the easiest thing to provide in a time of crisis is empathy. When things are uncertain, being as genuine and involved as possible not only makes people feel better, but also makes the overarching challenges seem more tolerable. A great way to do this by phone or video is to focus on what’s happening within our lives outside of work before moving on to discuss business. Everyone is going through many of the same challenges right now and understanding how we can work together to get through it is an excellent shared goal.
Outside of the ideas mentioned here, there are some great resources that are available to help people better prepare for a pandemic. The Department of Homeland Security released an article on the best ways to Prepare, Respond and Recover – https://www.dhs.gov/epidemicpandemic