The current pandemic has consumers wary, whether it be concern for health and safety, lack of work and income stability, or fear of what the future may hold. People are nervous right now, and as a business, communicating to your audience is key. Because the COVID-19 pandemic is in full swing, the focus is now on responding to and learning from the crisis. So how do you exactly handle crisis communication right now?
Use social media
During a crisis, social media is your friend. Use this as a way to quickly communicate with consumers on your business’s new policies and guidelines. Being as transparent as possible will foster a healthy relationship between you and your customers and keep you in their realm of interest.
One great way to reach your followers over social media is through videos, which are one of the most shared pieces of content on social platforms. This brings the viewer an alternate way of intaking information and can add a fun change to your delivered content.
Looking at demographics is also important. Pew Research Center conducted a survey looking at different age ranges and their usage of platforms. For those aged 18-24, 75% say that they have used Instagram, 76% say that they have used Facebook and 90% say that they have used YouTube. One key thing to note is that for those aged 65+, only 8% say that they have used Instagram, while almost half claimed to have used Facebook. If you are trying to communicate with an older population, Instagram does not stand a chance against Facebook. Understanding these metrics is crucial for your crisis communication strategy.
Focus on the customers
What do they need right now? Maybe they need content that brings joy to their heart, or a digital form of your companies good or service. Many companies are beginning to go beyond just adjusting to the altering expectations and needs of consumers. "Frozen 2" was released on Disney+ three months prior to the original release date. The company Headspace is giving free subscriptions to healthcare professionals. Companies like these are showing their adaptability and care toward the public, going beyond customer awareness and reaching a new level of customer satisfaction. In addition to this, it can create positive name recognition for the company during this unprecedented time.
Another aspect to look at is customer expectations. Creating a page on your website about COVID-19 related news can make all the difference in someone's comfortability with a company. Having this designated place for important information will alleviate unnecessary stress of consumers when looking to see your policies and guidelines.
Be Responsive and Honest
In the time of a crisis, being responsive to concerns of your customers is of utmost importance. Some people may have more in-depth questions than others on what you are doing to keep them healthy. Others may wonder what the future of your business looks like. Being honest is a huge step in keeping everyone safe.
In addition to being open with the public, reassuring them of what you stand for and actions you have taken can help you to propel past competitors. Think about both the current and the long term reputation of your brand. By doing what you can to let them know your safe practices, they can feel more confident in supporting you.
In order to survive as a business during this crisis, you need strong communication. Consumers can choose different ways to allocate their spending depending on how businesses handle this situation. By understanding your customer and their needs, your business can excel past average and be great.