The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to make drastic changes and even close their doors for a period of time. In a crisis situation, such as the COVID-19 outbreak, it is critical for businesses to communicate with their customers, clients and key stakeholders. At GRIT, we understand that during this time it may be hard to focus on all the items that need to be addressed, so we put together a crisis checklist to help.

#1: Email Communication

During a crisis, it is critical customers hear information from the business first, instead of an outside source. When a crisis breaks and a business decides to make changes to operations, the first step is to contact key constituents to inform them of the changes, how it will impact them and what the company is doing to reduce the impact while still serving them (e.g. accepting online purchases instead of in-person purchases, etc.). Email communication allows a business to control the message customers receive as well as build trust and credibility too.

#2: Update Your Website

Amid a crisis, such as COVID-19, customers may have questions which range in topic from new hours, closings, product availability, impact to projects and more. The first place they may check is your website; therefore, it is critical to update your website immediately. GRIT recommends updating the business hours and noting if the physical location is closed as well as outlining how the business is handling the situation. Depending on the amount of information to share, a page on the site may be dedicated to how the company is adapting which could even be done on the homepage. In the statement, outline the situation for your customers and remember to keep this information up to date.

In addition, if the COVID-19 crisis has a large impact on your clients, an FAQ page could be added to the business website detailing how workflow will change, emphasize the company’s safety policies and address existing purchases. This is also where the business can explain changes to any offerings if necessary.

#3: Update Google My Business

If the company has a Google My Business posting, remember to update the hours on this platform as well. In fact, business owners can add posts to their Google My Business page. These posts will show up in Google Search and Google Maps. Using this tool will keep customers informed of the status of your business. These posts can be extended to last up to 14 days and changed so the information is relevant.

#4: Social Media Updates

Lastly, don’t forget to keep key constituents updated on social media. Although business may not be operating as usual, it is important to check in on social media and update customers on how the crisis is impacting the business and provide updates as they are available. This is a great way to reach a large group of followers who have a relationship with your brand.

At GRIT, we have experience in crisis communications and can help your business develop messaging for customers, clients, employees and other key constituents during this time. Reach out to us today to learn how we can help you!