You don’t want to talk about COVID. I get it, we’ve been talking about it for almost a year. What is left to say? Alas, your business is not immune to the various impacts of the virus and you have to talk about it. Particularly if you deal with clients or customers face-to-face, clear COVID communication is crucial.
Recently I spoke with a friend who owns a bakery. A few weeks back, she had to shift a cookie decorating class from an in-person event to a virtual one due to a potential COVID exposure. I asked, what was most challenging in communicating this to her customers? She responded, “The most difficult part is that you don’t know how people are going to react.”
While we can’t predict how your patrons will respond, here are some ways you can build a positive dialogue with your clients about the impacts of COVID on your business.
Thank Your Clients for Sticking with You
An important part of COVID communication isn’t actually about COVID. It’s about your customers. While saying “thank you” may seem like a simple gesture, it can speak volumes in the eyes of your clientele. Especially if you’ve had to shift the way you interact with them due to the virus. Your gratitude for their business and continued support makes them feel valued, promoting brand loyalty and encouraging your customers to stick with you for the long haul.
“Thank you for your support during this time.”
“We hope you are happy with your purchase! Thank you for being just a loyal customer.”
Weave simple sentiments of gratitude like these into email messages, order confirmations, client milestones, social media posts and one-on-one interactions.
Be Honest, COVID Impacts You, Too
“We’ve been informed that a member of our staff has been exposed to COVID by a member of their household.”
Telling the public that your business has a case of the virus can be scary. Will your clients think you and your staff are being careless? You may be tempted to withhold that particular piece of information when announcing a shift in services.
But being open and honest can instill a sense of trust in your business. In a time when everyone is trying to figure out the best way to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, comfort them by letting them know your business refuses to put them at risk.
“We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause. This is not what we had planned, but we wish to keep everyone safe.”
Manage Expectations and Provide Solutions
Managing your client’s expectations about how the virus is impacting the ways you do business is important.
An example: You own a small gym and require patrons to wear a mask the entire time they’re working out. Let them know this before they come in, through social media or email communications. Make the transition easier by offering suggestions of masks that are most comfortable during high-intensity sweat sessions.
In the case of my friend’s bakery, they provided options for the postponed class. Guests who had purchased tickets could either attend the virtual event at a later date, receive credit for a future in-person class, or receive a full refund. While offering a refund may be the last thing you wish to do atContinue reading