Is your messaging harming you right this second? Read this post to find out

Throughout our last few emails we’ve talked about the best ways to make a change in your organization.

Because make no mistake…during a huge business disruption like COVID-19…most businesses are in Trial and Error Mode, which is costly and fraught with problems.…the fact is that change is coming for us one way or another. 

Either WE’RE going to drive it, or it’s going to happen TO us. 

And by now you already know that the “Wait and See” approach is a recipe for disaster.  We need to start listening to behavioral scientists…who can accurately predict human behaviors based on decades of research as a guide to pandemic profit patterns…that will drive revenue. 

It’s not enough to let others in our industry figure it out. Or to piggyback off of what they end up doing. Or wing it based on a hunch.  There’s a real danger in not acting first – because the company that leads the way can gain a much stronger foothold on the market.

It’s your chance to get miles ahead of your competitors. Or, keep the lead if you already have it. So if you’ve recognized that a big change in your organization is necessary…you’re already way ahead of competitors who think the best course of action is to twiddle their thumbs.  

But of course, change comes with a lot of barriers.

We’ve already talked about how to bypass some of the biggest internal barriers……but what’s just as important are the external barriers to change.

And perhaps the biggest barrier of all is how you communicate with your customers.

Why is this so crucial?

Because unless your communication with your customers is rock solid…it almost doesn’t matter what kind of change you make in your organization.

A customer base that doesn’t have faith in what you’re doing won’t respond the way you want them to.

They won’t believe in your actions. They won’t trust that you have their best interests at heart.  And they’ll think you sound the same as all the other companies saying the same thing. If this happens then all of your efforts will be for nothing. 

To avoid this you need to make sure your customer messaging and communication game is stronger than it’s ever been.

And the first step is to assess where you’re at right now. That’s where the Reassurance Scale comes in.

It’s a grading scale we’ve developed to see how much you need to change your communication approach in regards to COVID-19. Where you rank will determine how much work you have to do. 

If you’re on the lower end of the scale (1-4) then an immediate change to your messaging is needed. That’s because being this low on the scale means your messaging is doing you more harm than good.

If you’re around the middle (5-6) then you’re probably in line with most of your competitors. While this isn’t the worst case, the problem is that everyone in this range sounds alike. As a result your messaging produces little more than an eyeroll.

If you’re at the higher end (7-8) then you’re likely ahead of most of the people in your industry. Customers are on board with what you’re doing and are optimistic. But they may still have doubts and concerns which need to be addressed. Otherwise that lingering uncertainty will damage your credibility going forward.

And if you’re at the absolute top (9-10) then congrats! You’re one of the few companies that has a strong and authentic connection with your market. You’re in the best position possible to come out way ahead of everyone else as a result of the pandemic.

Ready to see where you are? Then check out the Reassurance Scale below:

So where did you rank? Remember, the best way to use any scale or grading system like this is to be brutally honest.

If you can’t acknowledge you’re behind, then you won’t be able to make the changes needed to ensure you come out ahead. As a rule of thumb, the lower you are on the scale the FASTER you need to make a change.

That’s because your situation is evolving rapidly and the window of opportunity is quickly closing.  This means that your customer communication can’t afford to be spotty.

Finally, once you’ve identified your biggest internal and external barriers to change…the next step is to decide on the actual change you need to make in your organization. 

This can be the most difficult step in the process for most companies. And it will be the topic of our final email in this mini-series. This post may be the most important one of them all, so make sure you don’t miss it.

Talk Soon, 

Adele and Chip 

P.S. Want our personal feedback on what you can do to improve your customer messaging?

As a Crisis Communications Expert that’s worked with the Infectious Disease Society of America, DuPont and Lockheed Martin……We’ve advised some of the biggest companies and individuals on what to do during times of crisis and disruption. And we can help you do the same.

If you’re interested then join us on our live Zoom session with Dr. Josh Packard that will show you how. In this virtual session, we’ll go over a brief video scenario walking through one of the most important Covid-related business problems we’ll all likely face in the coming weeks.

Professor Josh Packard will then discuss how organizations and leaders should handle it from a sociological perspective. He’ll show you how to put everything we talked about in these emails into place using practical advice and recommendations.

Afterwards Chip and I will provide expert advice on how to implement Dr. Packard’s recommendation in real-time for your business. You’ll walk away with 3 definite action steps as well as the key insights you need to implement them successfully.

Don’t let your organization fall behind your competitors during this crucial time. And don’t be “just another company” that your customers are indifferent to.  Join us to discover how to emerge from COVID-19 ahead of everyone else in your industry – and then keep that lead for the months and years to come.