Sharing difficult news with customers is something many field service businesses have had to deal with during the COVID-19 outbreak. Whether you need to share tough news with your customers — such as the temporary closing of your services — or detailed information about health precautions you are taking as you continue to provide service, it’s important to be strategic in your communications.

Here are six steps to take when communicating with your field service customers during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Express your loyalty and support for your customers

As you reach out to customers to share updates about your business, you have the opportunity to provide a sense of reassurance during this difficult time. Communicate your updates with a sense of understanding and empathy, and be sure to include messaging to reassure your customers that you are there for them no matter what difficult decisions you’ve had to make in your business.

Clearly explain how your business will operate

If you have to put a stop on service for a while, share that update clearly and provide a reasonable explanation. If you are able to continue service, give details regarding the health and safety precautions you are taking. No matter how your business will operate during this pandemic, keep your customers informed with transparency and honesty.

Share instructions for customers to reach out to you

Even if you’ve shared details about the status of your business at this time, your customers may still have concerns or questions. Provide an easy way for your customers to reach out so that they feel supported and heard. With a streamlined process for submitting inquiries and concerns, your business will be able to respond to customers faster and more easily.

Share updates in multiple formats

The impact of COVID-19 has caused many aspects of business to change on a daily basis. With this in mind, make sure your customers aren’t missing important information by sharing news on multiple channels. Send emails, post on social media, and add messaging to your website with updates regarding how your business is responding to COVID-19. If you have the bandwidth, call your customers; especially in situations where you’ve had to cancel service or change processes around upcoming service.

Be detail oriented in your communication

While you may be in a hurry to share information with your customer base, you don’t want to cause confusion with misinformation. Double check your messages before sending anything out, and have at least one other person review information before it is shared with customers. Careful attention to detail will help avoid additional headaches in an already stressful situation.

Put yourself in your customer’s shoes

Before you start to craft your message to customers, make sure you understand where they are coming from and what they might be feeling at this time. Rather than sending out a generic message, provide relevant information that pertains to what your customers really need to know in the moment and that can alleviate their concerns (to the best of your ability).

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