03 Aug External Communication
During the current extraordinary times that we are living in due to the Corona virus, we are facing new challenges with our communication. Because of social distancing, many people are working from home and travel has been severely restricted. Therefore, the moving industry is constrained related to the services they can provide their clients. To help your company communicate with their clients during this time, it is important to work together to develop strategies and tips to communicate effectively.
Here are some Notes & Tips for External Communication
Points to remember:
- Transparency – explain the situation
- Vulnerability – show your humanity
- Share information with clients and colleagues
- Listen and show empathy
- Positive framing: What do you know, what can you do
- Use video when you can
- Share information from the Dutch government and from the RIVM (Dutch public health agency) regarding the measures and restrictions that are in place in this country.
- Gather and share with colleagues relevant information for clients (expats). Things they may need to know include: whether certain centers are open, e.g. expat centers; changes in procedures because of social distancing like opening a bank account, going to a doctor or to the “gemeente” (local municipality); and of course restrictions, delays and developments regarding transport and travel.
- Show empathy! And build a personal connection.
- Create a “we” feeling – everyone in the world is faced with this situation to some degree. Explain to your clients that it is an unprecedented (new) situation for everyone and governments, businesses and individuals are all taking things day by day.
- Positive framing: Give a clear overview of what you do know and what you can do. Remember, even in times of uncertainty and times like this when there is a lot that you don’t know. Try to keep positive framing in mind and express what you do know and what you can do.
- Ask questions and listen. Find out how your clients are feeling. Listen to their concerns. Connect with them at a human level.
- Communicate frequently and let them know you are there. Now that people are working from home, they are naturally more isolated. This can lead to anxiety and concern. Let your clients know you have not forgotten them and you are still there, even if you are still in a situation where you cannot help them yet.
- Reflect on your own perspective. If you’re feeling down or uncomfortable because of the uncertainty or for personal reasons, share this with your colleagues, manager of HR. Remember, ‘cut yourself some slack’ and take care of yourselves ( that puts you in a better position to take care of your clients too!).
- Use email structure that you learned in the business communication training. This structure is always useful for effective and efficient business communication. In stressful times, it is even more suitable. When people are stressed and have a lot on their minds, it is really helpful if the emails they receive are clear and easy to follow. For you as the writer, using this structure is also advantageous. It helps you organize your thoughts and manage the communication flow better.