With the massive disruption the coronavirus has foisted on businesses and consumers alike, it’s more important than ever to keep an open line of communication. While many focus on the need for telecommuting or teleworking, they do not highlight on the very vital role of maintaining good relationships with not only customers, but vendors, and peers as well.
What the Coronavirus Quarantine Teaches Businesses
If COVID-19 teaches businesses large, medium, and small anything, it’s the fact to always expect the unexpected. Or, be prepared for as many contingencies as possible. While you can’t proactively guard against every single scenario, there are situations which your business should be equipped to handle. For instance, natural disasters, criminal activity, and of course, epidemics or as we’re experiencing now, a pandemic.
Because nobody can predict what will happen next with the coronavirus, this causes great uncertainty. And this uncertainty has a direct impact on businesses. The only thing they can do is try to prepare for all outcomes. —JD Supra
This isn’t by any means easy, but it is necessary to at least have a framework to deal with emergency situations, particularly those that have a long-term impact, such as the one the business world is experiencing right now. If you aren’t prepared, it will have a more disastrous impact on your company than it otherwise would.
How to Maintain Business Relationships during a Time of Crisis
When catastrophe strikes, it can come in many forms. If you’re business is able to continue operations, even in a very limited capacity, then it’s of utmost importance to keep lines of communication open with everyone. Here are a few helpful suggestions for how to do just that:
- Reassure employees. Although no one can predict the future, you do need to be upfront and honest about your situation with your team members. While you don’t need to paint a doomsday scenario, you do need to let them know where things stand and what’s likely to happen.
- Reach out to customers. Many churches around the country are digitally broadcasting their weekly messages. And, some are even taking it a step further by personally phoning every single member. You can do the same with your customers, starting with the most valuable. Give them a call personally, or have employees join you to touch base with everyone.
- Speak with your vendors. This is basically the same idea. But, here you’re doing two things — giving them a heads-up of where you stand and inquiring as to what they are doing and have planned for the near future.
- Take some time to reflect. You should also take advantage of any downtime to do a little introspection. Use the opportunity to unplug in a quiet place and think about your next course of action and how you can improve your business.
What other suggestions do you have? Please comment to let everyone know about your thoughts and experiences!
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