Am I Over-Communicating?
Over-Communicating – is there such a thing? Over the past month, the world has been bombarded with messaging regarding COVID-19. As a nation, we are tuned in more than ever, seeking out daily updates from our local and national government on the health of our community and the guidelines they recommend to stay safe. As business owners, we rely on this information to mitigate risk, protect employees, and find relief options to stay afloat during this difficult time. During this time of uncertainty, regularly touch base with your key stakeholders (your employees, customers and vendors). Hungry for updates and reassurance, there is no such thing as too much communication.
As the world seems to be changing minute-by-minute, your stakeholders expect to have current information about your business available at their fingertips. Here are a few ideas on how to keep them informed:
- Share daily updates with your team: If your team is worried, fears and negative thoughts are keeping them from producing their best work. Whether you have good news or bad news to share, you need to keep them in-the-loop on what is going on and what changes you are making to your business. When it comes to key day-to-day operational changes, consider sending out a daily or weekly morning e-mail that highlights the modifications you are making. When it comes to larger issues that require a dialog or two-way communication, consider having these conversations over the phone or in person.
- Make sure your online messaging is current: Your consumers are turning to your online presence for updates on your business. They are wondering if you’re open, if they can do business with you virtually, and if not, what precautions your business is taking to stop the spread. Start by creating a pop-up on your website with a COVID-19 policy that answers these questions. Next, pin the same verbiage to the top of your social media pages so it is the first post your customers see when they view your page. Lastly, send the verbiage out in regularly scheduled social posts and e-blasts to keep your followers informed and engaged.
- There will be pain points – communicate them instead of trying to cover them up: Your customers, vendors and employees understand that this is not “business as usual.” Most businesses are experiencing hiccups in their supply chain, technology glitches, and staffing changes that can result in a slower-moving sales process. To avoid a flood of questions and customer service complaints, be the one that brings these issues to attention. Leverage your online platforms to get the statement across about any delayed lead times or other disruptions that may be occurring in your business. You’ll find a majority of your followers will be sympathetic and appreciative of your transparency.
Communicate, communicate, communicate! Keep the conversation going. Ease your stakeholder’s fears and worries by consistently providing them with the most up-to-date information that you have. Lead your team through these unprecedented times, and remember that Accelerate ActionCOACH is here to help. We are donating our time to help business owners get through this difficult time. Learn more about our free, virtual 30-Day Coronavirus Survival Planning Session.