We have all been receiving a barrage of emails from companies small and large about how they are handling the COVID-19 Pandemic. In our opinion, most of them are WAY too long and provide details that customers and employees simply don’t need. I don’t know about you, but when I receive an email that goes on and on…… I scan it and usually delete it.
It is our goal to help you develop not just one communication letting your clients and colleagues know how your business will operate during the pandemic, but to help you put a proactive communications plan into action; one that will span the next many months. Here’s what we suggest:
Your First Communication
Send a communication letting your customers, clients and contacts how your business will be operating during the pandemic. Key messages should include:
- Your Focus on the Health and Wellbeing of your Staff – The importance of protecting your employees and their families from contracting COVID-19 and hopefully announcing your new “work remote” policy
- How You will Continue to Seamlessly Deliver Services – Reassure your clients or customers that you are still in business. If you are offering legal, financial, or other services, lay out your plan to keep all client matters moving forward
- How Accessible You Are – Let your contacts know how to reach you and easily schedule a call or video conference with you (ref: Staying Positive and Productive During the COVID-19 Pandemic). Now more than ever your clients want to be reassured that you are there for them
- Your Compliance with CDC and WHO Best Practices – Let everyone know that you are monitoring these important websites daily, and maintaining best practices as recommended by these organizations
- New Virtual Focus – Be creative in how you will deliver your services in the future. Today I helped a mediator develop a Virtual Mediation Center in order to seamlessly offer his services. Think about and communicate how you can use technology to keep people engaged with your business
- Warm Wishes – Make sure to wish your contacts the best, with hopes that they and their families stay healthy during this difficult time
- Contact Us – End your message with the various ways in which your clients and contacts can get and/or stay in touch with you. Now is the time to offer clients your cell phone number if they need to reach you
Commit to writing blog posts about how your business can support people suffering from worries about the pandemic. For example, I recently suggested one of our employment law clients create a blog post on Employee Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic after one of our friends was fired for challenging a company’s mandate that employees must come to work. Timely and relevant should be your mantra. The same firm was also among the first to report upon Families First Coronavirus Response Act Provides Paid Leave Rights to Qualified Workers.
We have another client, a criminal defense firm, who jumped into blogging about Judicial Priorities During the COVID-19 Pandemic, then a blog post providing answers to the bars and restaurants in Minnesota that may choose to defy the Governor’s Order to close, Think about the pandemic from the perspective of your clients and provide useful information to them. The same firm is working on a blog dealing with “What if A Bar of Restaurant Defies the Governor’s Order to Shut Down?”
Earlier in the week PSM produced its own COVID-19 Marketing Toolkit and we have been receiving rave reviews about how helpful the content has been.
Your Second Communication
Your second communication should focus on other new and relevant content you have developed to help your clients’ get through the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider setting a goal of being the “go to” source for your clients and contacts in your industry by highlighting and promoting the new content you are developing around the COVID-19 pandemic. If you sell products online, now is the time to communicate any discounts you might be offering on merchandise you have in stock (Ref: Coronavirus Pandemic Impact on E-Commerce and Online Businesses).
Your Third and Ongoing Communications
The key here is to keep your clients up to date on new content you are posting on your website. As we remind our clients, now is not the time to slow down on your firm’s SEO efforts (Ref: COVID-19: Now is the Time to Keep Your Search Engine Rankings High). The last thing you want to do right now is to stop communicating with your clients and contacts. The challenge is how to communicate to your clients that you are fully operational. While there needs to be fluidity in the schedule of court dates, quarterly reviews, or previously scheduled conferences, it is imperative that your clients feel confident in your ability to continue to serve them.
We will get through this era of the COVID-19 pandemic. Professional services firms that make client communications and personal accessibility a priority are those that will engender the trust and confidence of their clients now and into the future. If you would like to brainstorm your unique situation on how to deliver your services virtually, feel free to schedule a time to talk with me by clicking “Book Now” under the contact information on my biography.