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Resilience in the Face of a Pandemic - 10 Things You Should be Doing Today

2020-04-06T01:15:21.915Z

Businesses small and large, local or global are resilient. We are all facing challenges like never before. The COVID-19 pandemic has forced a rapid change in how we operate and connect.  Resilience takes planning and the business leaders that lead the recovery from this will have planned for, integrated and embraced new ways to market and sell. Your strategic playbook should be in place, or have one developed, to ensure you’re among them.

Here are 10 tactics you can implement today to help get through this time and prepare to sprint out of the starting block when it’s safer to return – keeping these tools, methods, protocols and processes in place as new ways to reach your customers, sell your products and services, and shorten your time to recovery.

 

1. Communicate with your customers.

Customers need to know that you’re open for business, to what degree, how you’re engaging and what measures you’ve taken to responsibly conduct business.

  • Setup a communications plan, including one for crisis communications, so customers get consistent messages from your team, whatever the touch point.
  • Place a message on your website.
  •  If you have a physical office, store or factory that’s open, post signage regarding changes to protocols, hours and restrictions.

 

Describe the measures you’ve taken to protect your customer’s health and also the health of your employees.

  • Share new protocols you’ve enacted.
  • Describe how your team is producing even while working from home.
  • Articulate any measures you’ve taken for contactless business, or if contact is required, how you’re deep-cleaning regularly.

 

 

2. Socialize while keeping social distance.

Step up your social media presence, starting with a social media communications plan, content calendar, and platform strategy.

  • Post more frequently, including topics related to the virus and your business.
  •  Offer solutions to help minimize the impact of the virus on your customers, but don’t be tempted to promote opportunistically.
  •  Write articles that engage your audience at a time when they have more time. Show that you are a leader and care for your customers, your employees, your partners and your community.

 

 

3. Connect with Email campaigns.

Use this time to send relevant information to appropriate recipients.

  • Setup an email campaign platform, communications template, content plan and strategy.
  • Don’t flood email boxes with junk mail, offers, or fluff – this is a time that people appreciate facts.
  • Gather up the contacts from your sales team, stores, etc. and load them into the central database.

 

 

4. Be prepared to re-engage.

Have a plan ready for post-pandemic day 1 – don’t wait to plan it then.

  • How will you keep your customers engaged in the near term, if even to just let them know the lights are on
  • What’s the plan to quickly re-engage in a responsible way, when it’s safer to do so.\
  •  Does your new sales and marketing model incorporate the digital meeting tools you deployed during the pandemic, and safer protocols going forward.
  •  Has your sales plan been reset, oriented to maximize sales as manufacturing or service capacity comes back online and has the marketing plan been triaged to prioritize sales re-engagement.

 

 

 

5. Use this time to catch up.

This is certainly a challenging time to make investments, but it’s also an opportunity to catch up.        

  • Review your sales and marketing plans.
  • Evaluate your sales tools, whether printed brochures or digital assets like your website, and update them.
  • Have them ready to generate sales today and reflect the new world tomorrow.

 

 

6. Rethink events.

If your marketing plans previously included tradeshows and events, it’s time to evaluate how to move forward in the new world.

  • Re-evaluate your tradeshows – will you do better at more, smaller shows than few, large ones.
  • What new protocols are necessary to incorporate into your exhibit to safely engage attendees and demonstrate your products.
  • Can you replace tradeshows with an investment in remote demos, virtual reality events, webinars and other socially distanced formats.

 

 

7. Offer online and video education.

This is a great time to help your customers catch up on education – whether for professional credits through accredited courses, or through self-learning videos or webinars.

  • Develop courses that can be downloaded.
  • Make educational videos.
  • Announce webinars and times to chat with an expert.

 

 

8. Conduct sales calls and meetings online.

If you haven’t been in the habit of using digital tools, this is the time to start.

  • Conduct regular meetings with customers through WebEx, Google Hangouts, Zoom, GotoMeeting, Skype or other similar tools that let you share screens, voice and video.
  • Video is very important – seeing a face, even online, builds a connection in this time of social distancing.
  •  Make sure your sales and service teams are available to customers through all possible avenues including phone, email and instant messaging like WhatsApp, IM, Skype, and others.

 

 

9. Open up or enhance your digital storefront.

If your product or service can be sold online ramp up or start up your e-commerce shopping cart.        

  • Make sure your e-commerce platform is robust and up to date, especially in regards to availability and delivery.
  • Have your plans in place for contactless delivery.
  • Don’t over-commit.

 

 

10. Beef up Customer Service capability.

Can your service reps can work from home?

  • Ensure they have secure access to the right data online
  • Enable them with scripts to handle customer questions.

 


We'll all get through this together -- Stay well. Stay connected.


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