In times of crisis or uncertainty, marketing strategy has to shift to a communications strategy. Here’s a simple acronym of rules to follow when communicating in a crisis.
COMMUNICATE! Protocols are changing frequently and fast. If these changes affect the customer or patient experience, communicate that! Setting expectations lessens uncertainty, which makes customers more comfortable.
OFFER REASSURANCE. If you are a business or practice that has remained open, but find that people are hesitant to come in, tap a customer who has come in and had a good experience. Ask them to send an email or text message* about their good experience, then share it. Real customer experiences are comforting and may be just the push someone needs to get to you.
Be VIGILANT. Take the time to utilize ALL available communications channels to stay in touch. Social media, Email, Twitter, websites, and blogs provide excellent platforms for pushing out a message. Be vigilant about pushing out messaging on all channels to ensure you reach as many people as possible.
IDENTIFY with your customers. People do business with businesses and people they Know, Like and Trust. Trust is built through shared experiences. COVID-19 has created a fascinating scenario where the whole world is sharing the same experience. Be relatable, be part of the community, be human. Now is not the time to go dark – even if your doors are closed. Now, more than ever is the time to be part of your community.
DON’T BE TONE DEAF! DO be a RESOURCE or solution. Solve, don’t sell! If you have chosen to continue to run ads, great choice! You will benefit greatly from that investment but change the creative. Sounding tone-deaf can have the opposite effect from what you’re looking for – fast.
There is another side to this and with the right communications strategy, you can come out as well as or better than you went in. If we can help, just let us know.
*Google isn’t sharing reviews to my business pages as a result of staff cutbacks during COVID-19. So manually sharing reassuring experiences is what you can do right now. https://support.google.com/business/answer/9792336?hl=en