Coronavirus Crisis Management Plan: Best Practices for Customer Communication
Customer experience management requires diligence during the best of times. During a situation such as the current COVID-19 crisis, CX management demands even greater attention.
You don’t have to throw out existing crisis management guidance, but most companies will have to tailor that guidance to the particulars of the coronavirus pandemic. There is no time to lose, so you can’t expect your plan to be perfect. You can benefit from CX best practices such as optimizing internal communications, reevaluating external communications and always looking at things from the customer’s point of view.
Shore Up Internal Communications and Actions First
Establish and communicate a clear chain of command, complete with understudies in case people are out sick. Cross-train people so that all key positions are covered and to ensure everyone understands their roles. Consider having a daily 15-minute meeting for updates since the COVID-19 situation is evolving so rapidly.
Have a Defined Plan for External Communications
Many companies are creating a dedicated COVID-19 resource page on their website, while others are adding a banner at the top of each page encapsulating their COVID-19 strategy and linking to key resources.
Every business should identify their most valuable external communication channels. Social media sites and email newsletters will be the most valuable for many businesses. Brick-and-mortar businesses should consider adding in-store signage to communicate critical information.
Make sure teams that have started working from home have the resources they need to operate as near-normal as possible.
Keep Communications Concise and Relevant
While external communications are critical to your CX management right now, bear in mind that every company is bombarding customers with COVID-19 information. Keep it concise and don’t push out information just because everyone else is doing so. Consider the information that your customers genuinely need and don’t overload them with unnecessary communication.
Now is a good time to audit your automated email practices. If you have already planned automated emails in advance, look them over again. You may see emails that can be nixed or postponed, such as emails about vacation destinations or social gatherings.
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Now, More than Ever, Listen to Your Customers
Double down on your efforts to listen and respond to customer feedback. Now more than ever, people need to know that their favorite brands are listening to them. Don’t be afraid to share happy information or light, appropriate humor. At the same time, avoid any communications or humor that could be considered tone-deaf.
We’re all writing the playbook for business during COVID-19 as we go, but there are plenty of proven CX best practices upon which we can call. It will require diligence, flexibility and hard work, but the results will pay off now and over the long term.
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