Essential business communication is critical during the continued stay-at-home orders and business restrictions affecting so many of us. For most businesses, the recession-like economic climate and the methods of performing work are being redefined every day.
Despite people’s perceptions, not all businesses that are classified in the essential business category are thriving during this pandemic.
The question: How to protect your essential business during the Coronavirus outbreak requires a plan.
Your essential business communications plan should include operational changes for client communications, ongoing marketing communications, and employee communications. Here are three ways to improve your client communications.
3 Ways to Improve Your Client Communications
Client Communications: The Problem
Possibly the most common complaints about essential business providers is a lack of communication, slow response times, no response to prospective customer questions, or complete lack of availability.
Although most potential customers will be patient in waiting for a response to their question, if the situation is an emergency or time sensitive, these people will move on immediately to your competition in search of a solution.
Here are three communications strategies to positively impact your perception as a brand and safeguard your client relationships.
Under Promise and Over Deliver: Get Organized
Scheduling is often tricky and a constant challenge for essential businesses, unfortunately the biggest reason why potential clients leave angry and frustrated is simple. Many businesses do not show up to a customer site when they said they would be there. Although potential customers should be understanding, today’s instant-gratification society we live in has changed the customer landscape.
People have become accustomed to instantaneous answers and action, attention spans and patience are shortening. Promising and then failing to keep a promise is damaging to a business even during a pandemic when customers should be more forgiving.
Organize and Delegate
Here are some simple steps to ensure you do not over promise and under deliver:
- Assign staff to monitor your appointment software, website contact form, live chat messaging, text messaging, and voicemail.
- Realistically schedule the new customer in an appointment time frame that you can commit to and make
- Communicate as soon as possible and confirm the appointment time with your new customer
Essential Business Policy: Pick Up the Phone
Time is precious and time is money. But so is the psychological well-being of prospective clients. Consider reviewing and adapting your communication policy by requiring someone like an owner, manager, foreman, installer, or office staff to personally respond to questions or requests.
- Place a reasonable time frame on how long you or your employee should spend on these calls
- Set up a system to qualify the questions or requests
- Assign office support staff to answer questions or requests on lower priority items
Communicate in Route to the Appointment
With social distancing in place and people’s tension high over the pandemic, here are a few tips on how to pave the way for your visit:
- Support call from your office staff informing the new customer that the crew is on the way
- Text a photo and short description of the worker(s) who will be arriving on site for the appointment
- Text a short description of the problem the customer described and your course of action (as much as can be predicted) upon arrival to their home
Uncertainty is the norm right now and your clients need to hear from you to feel reassured. Pick up the phone and call prospective customers, reassure them that business will be conducted with the same quality of service during this unprecedented time. The call you make today may help maintain future revenues and relationships.