This is how to TALK to me during a pandemic!

One of my biggest frustrations during this pandemic is the poor communication on websites, particularly government websites

So, so, so much generic blah that tells you nothing. Links that send you back to where you were, misinformation from the same department

And don’t even start me on finally get through to someone in the call centre, only to be told to visit the website which doesn’t have the information you need and to call the number provided. Ahhhhh!

It doesn’t need to be like this. Anger, frustration, anxiety can be minimised with the right conversation and communication.

If you are one of the many in-demand services such as a medical centre, RAT supplier, government department, hospital, supermarket, courier to name a few then start with the basics.

PDF Fact Sheet
One simple thing you can do is put together a fact sheet of all the commonly asked questions. What are you constantly getting calls and emails about? Answer the questions and create a nicely designed PDF that you can refer people to on your website, via email, and when they call. This could easily reduce a lot of your admin work.

Communicate clearly on your home page – if products or services are unavailable, clearly state that on your home page. And be honest! Nothing is more infuriating than being lied to upfront. Your message needs to be EASY To see and clear.

Regular updates
Ask customers to subscribe and get regular updates and then make sure you provide them with these regular updates. Sounds simple enough but even the big guys get this wrong. Make sure when you do this, that you segment your audience. Sending an update to a client that is irrelevant will only annoy them. Update across all your channels.

Personalise email responses – generic blasts are insulting
People are not robots! They want you to use their name and to respond to their SPECIFIC question. This should happen every day of the year, regardless of a pandemic. I have been getting so many generic form responses to emails asking specific questions and it will guarantee one thing – I will never buy from them again!

Provide timelines
If you are waiting for stock to arrive provide people with some sort of timeline to help manage their expectations. Will it be a delay of a few days, weeks or months?

Be empathic
Show empathy to your customers. There is a lot going on right now and a little empathy goes a long way.

Don’t treat your customers like numbers – they are people!
Sending people form responses that don’t answer their questions, lack of personalisation, and using generic terms make people feel unappreciated and like a number on your spreadsheet. I am experiencing this issue with a company that i order RATs from. Every time I email, their response is generic and does not address my question in any way. Guess who I won’t be ordering from again?

Keep socials up to date
If you have a social media account, it is an easy place to put relevant information. Change your header image to reflect your key message. Post updates about changes, product delays, and availability regularly. It is simple and quick and can mean less calls or emails that you have to manage

Be honest
I had one supplier blatantly lie in order for me to place the order then post order, said the items were on backorder. Dishonesty might win you a quick sale, but it does nothing for your reputation or repeat orders.

Share the correct info with all your staff
ALL your team needs to be aware of what is happening Delivery drivers, admin teams, the cleaner, the CEO – you name it. Regardless of their position, they should be across key information that relates to being able to deliver customer orders. I was talking to a client the other day who had called QLD Health 3 times to be told 3 totally different things about the same issue. And every person assured him that they were correct and the other person was wrong! Communication is everything.

Some of these tips might seem like common sense. However, over the last 6-12 months, in particular, I have seen and experienced so many companies getting it wrong. Particularly the government who should know better.

Communication 101 peeps – it’s common sense.

P.S If you need help with executing this, then you know where to find me