HTS Highlights: Communications During Crisis

Communication has been in the spotlight now more than ever with businesses coming up with innovative ways to communicate with their customers. Noreen Heron president of Heron Agency, Janet Isabelli founder of Isabelli Partners, Dakota Shultz co-founder of Agency 360, and Carol Fox president of Carol Fox and Associates came together to discuss their must-do things to communicate better to their customers in current times. 

  1. Talk Directly to Customers 

This may sound obvious but many businesses are not actively speaking directly with their customers. Posting on socials may let customers know about your business and the regulatory steps you are taking to keep them safe but it is not enough. “I’m seeing a lot of signs and posters about safety precautions, but that takes the human aspect out of the business, use the voice of your employees to be more personal,” says Dakota Shultz. Being intimate with customers gives them comfort. Customers are already uncomfortable with eating indoors, let them know what you’re doing personally to make their experience the best it can be. 

  1. Know How to Communicate Safety Vs. the Experience

An issue many businesses are facing is trying to balance marketing their safety regulations and the experience. What’s the right amount of balance between the two? Janet Isabelli believes a 50/50 balance is key, showing your customers that you aren’t putting safety to the side by giving it the same amount of attention you would the experience. While Noreen Heron thinks 60/40 is more in line with what people want, most customers are used to the guidelines now and at this point just want to focus on having a good time than worrying about the regulations stating “We are here to help you”. 

  1. How to Plan For The Future 

Many businesses are focusing on what to do in the future rather than worrying about re-opening or staying open right now if they are not able to. This is the wrong way to go about it because there is so much uncertainty on when and if things will go back to “normal”. Carol Fox believes there is always a way to continue to bring content to customers stating “Try and do online shows rather than waiting and hoping”. The best way to figure out how to remain operating is simply to ask the customers what makes them comfortable “take surveys instead of trying to assume what they want ” says Dakota Shultz. Being upfront can be one of the most powerful tools when trying to figure out what customers want, especially during such complicated times.