A Quick Guide to Crisis Communications for Contracting, Real Estate and Other Industry Professionals
The COVID-19 crisis has led to sudden and difficult changes for the contracting and real estate industries. But that shouldn’t stop us from moving forward. Taking this time to work on building and maintaining a positive business reputation is one of the best ways to mitigate negative impacts now and prepare for unrivaled growth and success in a post-COVID-19 world. Here, we share our top strategies for building a positive brand reputation in the age of COVID-19.
1. Communicate Consistently, Clearly and Concisely
Whether you’ve had to alter, cut back or completely halt your business operations, it’s important that you don’t drop off your customers’ radar completely. Make sure you stay on top of your emails, voicemails, social media messages, website inquiries and any other ways customers can communicate with you. That said, don’t overdo it. Most of us have been inundated with lengthy, self-indulgent corporate messages around COVID-19 that don’t really say much of anything. Aim to cut through the clutter by being clear and succinct in your communications.
2. Operate with Compassion and Empathy
Be conscious of the way you are communicating with customers during this time. Try to consider their point of view and how they might (mis)interpret what you’re saying before you say it (or hit send, share, post, etc.). This is a difficult time for all of us, so try to approach everything from a place of authenticity, kindness, consideration and respect for others. Seek first to listen, understand and support your customers and community rather than just complaining about your own struggles or worse yet, going right for their wallets.
3. Share Your Expertise
You already have tons of expertise in your industry, so why not put it to work for your brand? Sharing valuable content with your existing and potential customers is one of the best ways to boost your company’s credibility and reputation. Participate in online industry forums, join and/or host webinars and create a blog or resources page on your website to easily share helpful content. Send the message that you don’t just want people’s business, you want to engage with and support the community. Remember, “It’s about help, not hype.”
4. Support Others’ Success
Your efforts shouldn’t just focus on your own company. It’s also important to engage with other businesses and the community as a whole, especially now. We may be practicing physical social distancing, but there are still tons of ways to connect with others virtually. Introduce like-minded professionals to each other on LinkedIn, provide a positive Google review for another business or donate to a local charity. This is a great way to distinguish your company from your competitors and build a positive reputation for helping your local economy and community.
5. Ask for Feedback
If you want to be seen as a reputable company worthy of people’s trust and business, you have to find out what your customers and potential customers really think of your company. Monitor review sites and social media platforms to see what people are saying about your company. Ask your happy customers for referrals and online reviews, and respond to all public comments about your company (both positive and negative) in a professional and timely manner. You can even create a social media poll to solicit feedback proactively. This is an excellent way to gauge the current strengths and weaknesses of your business while boosting your brand and reputation. Everyone respects a company that cares enough to proactively ask for feedback so they can continuously improve their products and services.
6. Don’t Give Up
It takes time, consistency, and dedication to build and maintain a positive brand reputation. Be consistent, patient and persistent in your efforts and remember there’s always more to learn. Keep at it, check out the additional resources below and reach out to Pearl for support when you need it. We are all in this together and we WILL come out of it stronger than ever. We look forward to seeing you on the other side!