Corona, COVID-19, Rona, Corona crisis. Everyone has a way of calling it, and by now we are all aware of the corona pandemic, the importance of social distancing, regular washing and sanitizing of hands among other critical matters associated with this world crisis that we will leave it to the health experts to fill you in.
But outside of personal concerns, there are added professional and economical concerns for business owners who are trying to minimize the financial impact on their businesses during this time. Here at Beem, our job is to help and support the wider community to communicate with their audiences (customers, clients and partners) via our cloud platform during this crisis.
Business and companies across the world are preparing to adapt to the changing situations and to communicate new updates, new rules and restrictions as they develop. At our offices, almost 90% of our staff are currently working from home to mitigate a further spread of the virus. In this blog post, we will be sharing a few tips and ideas about how your business can adapt and manage in this time of corona crisis.
- Communicate directly, openly and often with your audiences
Trust and authenticity are some of the most important aspects of a business’ relationship with customers. Build trust by communicating honestly and openly. This can be achieved fairly easily via an email or SMS to your customers, employees and partners, or a post on social media.
Regularly answer the frequently asked questions, clearly communicate new updates, new rules and restrictions as they develop and do this in a timely manner as no one wants to be left in the dark in such situations.
The tone of your messages should be heartfelt, supportive and feel authentic depending on the nature of your business and the message you want to convey. Your customers will value this gesture.
- Look ahead and constantly re-frame your efforts.
By definition, crises have a highly dynamic trajectory, which requires a constant re-framing of mental models and plans. With the corona crisis, nothing is definite anymore and the situation keeps changing fast like sudden lock downs, curfews, remote working, individual isolation and so much more.
Try making sense of the situation and start early crisis planning and response, recovery strategy, post-recovery strategy, and finally, reflection and learning. This process must be fast and top management/CEO-led to avoid getting stuck in complex internal coordination processes and being slow to react to changing circumstances.
- Work strategically and efficiently
During a crisis, time takes on a different meaning. Millions of businesses worldwide have instituted a work-from-home policy, meaning that employees are juggling work, home, and families at the same time. Plus, a crisis like COVID-19 is dynamic and the situation is changing fast, depending on which country or even city you and your customers are located. Here are a few tips to manage your time better:
- Focus on short-term results– When the situation in a few weeks is uncertain, focus on what you can achieve in the next few days.
- Be patient and cautious with your creatives and messages– Even though you might feel like you need to jump in and put your business in the picture, it pays to take a step back, take a deep breath, and craft your messages with care and authenticity. This is not the time for taking chances that may have a negative effect.
- Focus on opportunities– In a crisis, it is easy to fall into despair and negativity. However, it is so important to focus on the positive rather than the problems. And there are always opportunities to be found.
- Move budgets to branding and awareness– Your customers may not be in the right frame of mind for conversions. Rather than spending budget trying to convert users who are not ready, focus on awareness campaigns that will keep your brand top of mind once the crisis is over and customers return.
- Innovate ways to fit your product/service or offer to the current situation
Beyond re-balancing your product portfolio, new customer needs tends to create opportunities for innovation. When threatened by crisis, instead of focusing on defensive moves, as a business you should try and boldly innovate around emerging opportunities.
For example, currently if you are selling hand sanitizing gel, then you’re all set in providing a solution for customers’ current pain points. As for other businesses who don’t sell these gels, they should recognize this as an opportunity to pivot the business. A little creative thought is what’s needed to make a connection between the product and how customers can benefit from it during the crisis.
- Switch or move anything you can online
As the Corona crisis continue to cause uncertainty among people across the world, business and companies are scrambling to mobilize the world. With closures and cancellations of business activities among other new set of complex coordination challenges, businesses are now taking on social media and other communication tool like Whatsapp, Twitter, Skype, Google Meet, Slack, email and even go traditional with telephone calls and SMS to coordinate with employees, customers and clients.
This duration provides a great opportunity for businesses to move online and boost their online lead generation efforts with the budget that would have been invested in offline events. In short, move all marketing and internal activities online and leverage virtual tools until life returns to normal.
How Can Beem Help
In times when swift communication is crucial, the Beem platform offers a number of possibilities to start the conversation and support your internal and external communication. You can rely on our services like bulk SMS, Two-way SMS and WhatsApp chatbot to engage with your customers and also offer mobile money services through our Mobile Airtime and Payments.
Lastly, as we all navigate the corona crisis, wherever you are located, the Beem team wishes you, your families and your businesses good health. Remember, we’re in this together, and we’ll come out of this together! Stay Safe!