How to communicate with customers in times of crisis
The impact of COVID-19
The coronavirus COVID-19 has impacted all of us. Everyone is adjusting to these new circumstances the best they can, but there is no doubt a lot of uncertainty. Since many construction sites are put on hold, your customers might have questions regarding the status of their project. Now more than ever, it’s important to reassure them without making false promises. We want to share our tips and tricks to give you some ideas about what and how to communicate during these times.
How to communicate?
Be empathic: this is a difficult time for everyone so showing your customer that you understand their concerns, goes a long way.
Communicate openly: of course no one can predict the future, so it’s hard to tell what the impact will be on a customer’s project. Be honest with them and communicate openly that you simply don’t know yet.
Communicate clearly: tell your customer how they will receive all the necessary information. Let them know if they’ll find everything on Ziggu, if they should also check their e-mail or if they can expect a phone call.
Communicate regularly: make sure your customers hear from you on a weekly basis, without skipping a beat. Little news is better than no news at all. We understand this can be difficult to do without updates from the construction site, but there are always other things to share (read the list below to get some ideas!).
Be consistent: make sure everyone in the company uses the same narrative. If a customer calls, they should hear the same story as they read on Ziggu.
What to share on Ziggu?
Post regular updates about the impact of COVID-19 and how the situation is developing. But please, don’t forget to share some positivity as well: Now that there are no construction updates to share, this is a good time to focus on positive and fun ‘behind the scenes’ stories about the project. For example:
- What’s the story behind the location or the name of the project?
- Who are the people behind the project: architect, contractor,…?
- How’s your team doing these days? Share a screenshot of a video call or a collage of photos of everyone’s work environment to show your customer how your company is still hard at work for every client.
Use FAQs to communicate information that needs to be easily accessible for everyone. Don’t know the answer to certain questions yet? Tell your customers. An honest answer is better than no answer at all. For example:
- Will the COVID-19 crisis affect our delivery date?
e.g. At this moment we don’t have a clear view yet what the impact will be on the delivery date. We estimate a delay of roughly 3 weeks, but that will depend on extra measures being taken by the government or not. We’re working closely with all contractors to plan ahead, trying to compensate for the time lost. As soon as we know more, you’ll read it here.
- How long will construction be on hold?
e.g. Currently we’re looking at 3 weeks of delay, but that will depend on extra measures being taken by the government or not. We are in constant contact with our contractors and suppliers to make sure we can restart as efficiently as possible.
- Do the deadlines to choose my bathroom/kitchen/… still apply?
e.g. We have updated those deadlines already that will be delayed. Lots of decision can be made through the platform only (e.g. approving your technical plan) and can go ahead as planned. For some decisions you’ll need to visit a showroom and will be planned later. Our suppliers will start uploading brochures, so you can already ask for a digital proposal, to give you an idea.