Our world has been upended and our daily lives impacted in recent weeks as the Coronavirus has quickly spread across the globe. To prevent the spread, many of us our learning how to work from home, many for the first time, as we maintain social distancing. It’s a challenge, and we are all learning as we go. Even though we can’t shake hands or meet in the office, conference room, or coffee shop, there are many things we can do to maintain personal communication with clients and provide them with real value during this Coronavirus crisis.
Invest in Phone, Video Conference, and Snail Mail
Under normal circumstances email is a great way to communicate, especially if you have large numbers of clients and prospects you engage with on a regular basis. Right now, our inboxes are being flooded with hollow messages from many of the big brands. All communications, especially those in crisis, should really say something meaningful or useful. Small businesses have been better at using email during this time, choosing to communicate only when necessary and to share real updates. In those instances, email is a valid form of communication. Still, nothing beats personal communications in times of crisis. A cold email is easy to mis-interpret and falls flat in connecting on a real level. Phone calls, video conferencing, and even personal cards and letters are all better options for making a genuine, heartfelt connection with your customers. Not only will they appreciate it more, it will help them stay calm and loyal to you as we weather this storm.
Share Your Expertise as it Relates to Helping People Through This Crisis
When I was a boy and I would see scary things in the news, my mother would say to me, “Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.” – Mr. Rogers
As business leaders, we cannot control the markets, pandemics, or other environmental factors that impact our organizations. All we can control is how we think and how we act during those times. We each can help by offering our unique skills, knowledge, and expertise to aide and guide others through these uncertain times. I’ve seen many positive examples of this from folks ranging from pet groomers to management consultants. Each are offering their unique skills and knowledge to educate others on how to take care of themselves and their families at home, how to lead and manage remote teams, and more. Each of you have something to offer to your clients and to the greater public at this time. Here are a few ways to do that.
Hold Virtual Forums
One of my clients is having weekly forums for all of their clients to come together on a live video conference and ask questions of their team of consultants. This is a brilliant way to provide a personal connection while consolidating those interactions into a single event. It allows you to build a community of likeminded individuals, with you at the hub, and to use your knowledge and experience to guide many during this crisis.
Whether on your own website or by serving as an expert source for media, you should be sharing your expertise through blogs and articles. People are hungry for information, and the internet is full of speculation and unhelpful articles from people with less experience and knowledge than you. You can serve as a balanced, sane voice amid the chaos and empower people with tips, tools, resources, and perspective.
Make Informative Videos
Another way to provide value to many people at once is through video. People shy away from video because they think it needs to be a highly produced and polished affair. It doesn’t. It only needs to be authentic and valuable. A quick video with your phone or computer camera is all you need to go live on Facebook or to record a short insightful video for LinkedIn and Twitter. Focus on short, actionable insights and tips that your audience can use to help manage themselves, their families, or their businesses during this time.
In all of these cases, the key is to be authentic, to share only what fits within your knowledge and skill set, and to be as timely as possible. If you aren’t sure what would be helpful to people, sample a few of your clients and ask them what problems, concerns, or burning questions they have right now. Look for ways you can help them solve or mitigate those concerns and issues. Be a helper. That’s what your clients need right now most. Your help and support.
If you have any questions about how to communicate with your clients during this time, please feel free to contact us. We are here to help and want to see as many businesses come out the other side as possible.