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The main thing that 2020 has taught us is that that you can’t take anything for granted. As countries locked down and marketing priorities shifted earlier in the year, most companies managed to find their feet amongst a summer of uncertainty. But with winter fast approaching and many countries facing a second wave of Coronavirus, consumers are feeling more uncertain than ever.

With so much up in the air from a business perspective, it’s unwise yo communicate your strategy to your customers. But that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t offer any form of reassurance. Particularly ahead of the busy holiday season, knowing that a brand or organization has a plan can be enough to put a lot of customers minds at ease.

An email newsletter sharing your plans to handle social distancing and safety with your staff, or to confirm that you currently plan to offer a reduced service can be enough to ease some of the anxiety your customers might feel at this time.

Now obviously things are changing so quickly that it can be difficult to say for certain what your organization might look like in a few months, but most of the time people are less concerned about the details of your plans. They just want to know that you have them.

Be particularly mindful of internal communications at this time; make sure you’re talking to your staff openly on a regular basis about the challenges your business is facing. A message from the CEO or a Senior Operations Manager will be appreciated. It can also be a good time to ask line managers to check in with direct reports more frequently, and address any concerns or worries they have early on.

If you’re a small business with an external audience, know is the perfect time to be more human with them. Show your face, share your concerns in a measured manner. Show gratitude and appreciation for their loyalty during a difficult time, you could even run a competition or offer a discount as a form of heartfelt thank you.

Remember, when you’re communicating with your audience about difficulties you are facing:

  • Don’t lie. If things might not be fine, don’t promise people they will be. Instead….
  • Be honest and open. Our current situation is both unprecedented and unexpected. Your audience will understand the challenges you are facing.
  • Be present and visible. You don’t have to send weekly updates, but make sure that your audience feels seen, and that they haven’t been forgotten about.
  • Be approachable. Everybody has worries and concerns at this time. Add time in your calendar to answer customer emails, host an Instagram Q&A, or hold office hours for your staff.
  • Don’t take your audience for granted. If you want your audience to support you through this time, you need to support them too. Say thank you often and be grateful for your audience.

Nobody knows what the end of 2020 will hold, but it’s important to communicate successfully with your audience so that you can weather the storm successfully.