We are in a totally different world right now.
Many of us are working from home and the future seems hazy. Perhaps you’re struggling to make decisions about staffing or future projects. But like a forest fire restarts growth, crisis moments can bring a new birth for your business. And that starts with how you communicate with customers.
In our unending-news-cycle world, much of what we hear seems like noise.
But now, more than ever, it is crucial for you to connect with people in meaningful ways. Want to send business messages that are well received? Use an OTHERS-centered paradigm.
O = ONE
Write for one person.
When you craft a message, imagine yourself speaking to one specific client. Pick out a single buyer and pretend you’re writing only for them. This helps you ditch the sanitized corporate-speak and makes your reader the focus of your message (rather than you!).
People connect to messages that are specific, personal, and conversational.
T = TRANSPARENCY
Embrace transparency to become relatable.
People may admire you for your strengths, but they connect with you through your weaknesses. Vulnerability ushers in humility and makes you instantly relatable to your audience. Transparency means letting people know how your business is doing or what has changed for you during this taxing season. You don’t have to air all your dirty laundry, just take an open, communicative posture. Now is not the time to go silent!
Speak to their needs, not your own.
What messages are most helpful to your customers at this time? While you could send a five-star handwashing tutorial, perhaps what is needed is advice to parents on talking to their kids, or how your company is adding flexibility to meet customer needs.
Don’t be afraid to push others to success. If your clients seem fearful or tentative, perhaps your encouragement will be the fuel they need to get back in the game or to push a stalled project to completion.
E = EMPATHETIC
Make their problem your problem.
Maya Angelou once said, “people will forget what you said, people forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.”
How does your messaging make people feel? Does it sound hard or templated? Or does it communicate true concern and a willingness to help? Your tone should sound something like this: “If it’s your problem, it’s my problem too, and we’ll work together to find a solution.”
R = RELEVANT
The relevance of your messaging applies not only to its topic but its timing. Sending pre-scheduled content with no regard to how it will land during hardships is a sure way to demonstrate you’ve lost touch with your base. Reach out to customers and find out how they’re doing, then adapt your messages accordingly.
S = SINCERE
If you say or do something, mean it!
This may seem like a no-brainer, but you’d be surprised how often people talk just to hear their own voices. Using content just to fill space will strike people as stale and insincere. Instead, go out of your way to be helpful and kind without seeking a reward for doing so.
Since you may not see customers directly for weeks to come, today is the time to make your website and print materials as “social distancing” friendly as possible.
By focusing on others with a relatable, helpful approach, you’ll connect with people one by one in ways that are sincere and inspiring. And nothing is more effective than that.