Indulge me, it you would for just a moment….
On April 3rd, I had the privilege of being a featured speaker during Debbie Sardone’s “Urgent: Corona Crisis Response Training” where I discussed the importance of messaging as we all attempt to navigate businesses through these uncertain times. The discussion points are provided below or you can download the full slideshow (.pdf).
I hope you find the information useful. Please follow us on Facebook, where we often share tips provided to us from industry insiders (aka – our kind clients).
On or around March 16th, our world tilted a bit on its axis. We got knocked down. Shock, panic and fear dominated our every thought. We got up. Dusted ourselves off. We addressed the crisis the best we could.
The message of the day became some variation of: “COVID-19: What We’re Doing About It”
Seemingly overnight, we lost 30-40% of our recurring business and new leads came in at a snail’s pace. Now, the shock is wearing off. We know more today than we did yesterday and fear has morphed into an underlying anxiety.
Now we get to learn how to conduct business in our new normal. Now we prepare for the day we all slowly begin to emerge from our caves and strive for “business as usual” – whatever that is going to look like.
Now is the time to focus on our messaging.
BEFORE: “We are taking precautions”
NOW: “We have implemented procedures”
The difference is subtle, but the result is immense. “Precautions” are taken when something is going badly. “Procedures” are implemented to maintain a standard. Stuntpeople take precautions. Doctors use procedures.
Positive messaging is KEY. Be part of the solution.
If you’re confident that your services are essential AND you have the proper procedures in place, your customer will be confident letting you in their home.
Your business isn’t fighting a virus. Your business is fighting consumer confidence.
You’ve already seen businesses address this:
- Wal Mart makes aisles one-way to facilitate social distancing
- Dominos introduces “No Contact Delivery”
- Aldi installs sneeze guards at every register
- “Curbside Pickup” becomes a buzzword
Now its your turn.
The “customer experience” has never been so important.
- Educate your staff so they are equipped for every customer interaction
- Foster a positive work-place full of positive re-enforcement
- Truly become an “essential business” – and be proud of it.
A happy, confident staff is the single biggest asset you have.
Visit a Disney theme park, and you’ll notice that Snow White is always smiling. Do you really believe she is always having a great day?
It’s training. It’s a positive work-place. It’s her job and she chose it.
Bob Iger, former CEO of The Walt Disney Company:
“I want people to be proud to work here, to feel good about what we do and how we do it.”
If Disney can do this with 201,000 employees, you can too! Read the full article containing Mr. Iger’s quote that includes an employee survey summary as well. The data is pretty astounding.
The Bottom Line
- Resist using the phrase “until further notice”. Just give regular updates. Nothing today is definite.
- Articulate your procedures and make a point of adhering to them.
- Make sure every employee, regardless of position, is fully informed and able to communicate your message.
- Words matter. Even the most subtle thing can have an immense impact.
- Stay positive and inspire those around you. If you don’t always feel positive, fake it! As they say, smiling is contagious (in a good way).
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We want to hear from you! Share what things you’ve done during this crisis to help mitigate the impact it is having on your business. I’ll compile the best ideas and post them to our Facebook page for everyone to see (with appropriate credit given, of course). We’re in this together.
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