Three things to avoid in your COVID-19 communications
With COVID-19 disrupting the lives of people across the world, it’s no wonder why it’s one of the biggest topics of conversation right now.
We don’t know about you, but we have found ourselves on the receiving end of hundreds of COVID-19 updates and news. These are from companies that we’ve either been a part of or have used in the past. We have found a great deal of comfort in some of their messaging; that’s the human in us. But how much is too much? At what point does the cause of concern for the public become a nuisance?
We know you’re thinking a lot about your service users, that’s the responsible company side of you. We celebrate you wanting to communicate because, with so many people following the ‘stay at home’ rule, almost any form of human communication can be something to look forward to.
Today we want to share with you, three things to avoid when deciding how to talk to your clients.
Companies are doing their best to keep their business open as usual and reassure their clients that they are still up and running. We appreciate your need to stay in contact with your clients right now, especially since, despite your best efforts, business will probably be slower than usual. Those contacts you have might be slower in responding. Try not to take it personally but also don’t try to overcompensate the silence with even more contact. Plan your communication carefully, get the information you need to in a straightforward email and leave sometime before communicating again. When emailing, think about the purpose of your email. Is the content inside something your audience wants to read about?
You may want to lighten the mood and try to make a joke about the situation to ease some of the stress of this pandemic. Please don’t. People are struggling with this all over the world. While your audience does not want to be reminded of the horrible things happening, they also don’t want to feel like they are being made fun of. It’s a difficult situation to get right and sometimes not saying anything is better than saying something needlessly. The best thing for the business to do right now is to show your compassion and how you’re thinking of everyone. Be aware of what is happening before you reach out to people and think, is your messaging appropriate?
You can sell without selling. This is particularly difficult for organisations focused primarily on selling. The reality is people are feeling vulnerable, and so behaviours are not going to be as normal. For this part, we’re talking about the communication you are sending to your clients, at this specific time. If your email purpose is to wish your clients well during this time, don’t then go on to talk about the service you offer. Make your communication’s meaning clear, it’s okay to remind them you exist, but do not make the focus of your email all about you.
During this time, for many companies facing uncertainty, the focus is to keep the business alive, save as many jobs as possible and do their part to ensure that the virus doesn’t cause more damage than it already has. When thinking of what type of communication to send out, think of what you would want to read and hear. It’s all about the human touch and showing how you care not only as a company but as an organisation that is part of the community.