Maintaining strong relationships with clients, customers, suppliers and team members is a key part of business success, but in times of crisis it is easy to focus on your own issues and neglect those important connections.
Here are a few tips on how to stay connected during difficult times – because you won’t get through without strong relationships and ongoing support.
Communication and contact
Transparency goes a long way in a crisis, so keep the lines of communication open.
- Let customers know about delays, changes to opening hours or any other issues as soon as possible.
- Make sure your team is updated about any changes or concerns before they hear about it in the media.
- Stay active on social media or through email, so your customers know you’re still around.
- Talk to suppliers as soon as possible if you are unable to make a payment.
Flexibility and understanding
- Relax payment policies for customers struggling to pay bills – think about accepting payments in instalments or via credit card
- Be understanding if your own staff are struggling as well – loosen dress code rules, let people work from home, and push back deadlines where possible.
- Move your business online, offer at-home services or delivery, and offer discount codes or vouchers to spend when the crisis is over.
Help and support
- Reach out to the wider business community to find ways to help others.
- Ask staff how they are dealing with the crisis and give them space to talk about it.
- Support your community with donations or time if you can.
If you are struggling to maintain connections and keep your business moving during the current crisis, get in touch for expert support and practical advice from our advisory team.