Relationships Vs Business During A Crisis
We have spent the last few days checking on each of our clients that we thought might have relationships in the Ukraine. Everyone seems to be okay, but some are quite shaken by the escalating Russian threats and the growing global response. For a few, this i also having an impact on their businesses as well as their personal lives. After losing my own father during the peak of the covid, I understand their emotions at the potential loss of loved ones, friends, business associates and connections. It is for that reason that I am writing a very different type of post this week.
You see, sometimes you have to stop doing business during crisis, so that you can just be a friend to someone who needs you in their darkest moments. The result is you build improved customer relations that result in deepened customer loyalty simply because you demonstrated that you genuinely care about them as a person. Relationship management skills are an essential tool of a successful business owner, but sometimes it’s just about being a decent human being and genuinely caring about those who come across your path during your day.
Now that the shock is passing the reality of what has just happened in the Ukraine is starting to set in and fear of the ongoing unknown is taking root. If you have any clients or customers in any part of our world right now I encourage you to reach out to each one on as personal level as you can. Fear is such a crippling and destructive emotion and they are going to need your extra support to get through the next few weeks and months. Most importantly let each one know that there is no doubt that you care about what they are going through and look for any way that you can help them, particularly on an emotional level. Here are a few suggestions.
1. Listen to their stories if they have connections or family in any of the currently involved countries be an active listener and ask questions specific to the stories that they are sharing. If you have your own connections or family in the Ukraine or neighboring countries share your own story to emphasize you understand what they are feeling because you are experiencing the same things.
2. If you have been fortunate enough not to have experienced this kind of fear or loss please be honest about it. Just the fact that you are reaching out to them without an agenda will let them know you care.
3. This is NOT the time to pitch your product. This is the time to build an personal and emotional connection with your customers and to simply be a human being. There will be time enough for business later.
Facing The Unknown
Communicating effectively with our customers or clients is always an essential part of our business. However, as the invasion of Ukraine begins to unfold and hopefully Russia’s nuclear threats do not materialize, the people of the Ukraine and surrounding Baltic states will start to look for opportunities to rebuild their lives. Things are going to be very different. We will find ourselves innovating and reinventing how we operate in our day-to-day lives and that may be a good thing. However, facing the unknown and the uncertain can be stressful, frightening, anxiety provoking, and exhausting. Most of us are looking for a safe harbor of calm and security and that has never been more true for the people of Ukraine.
That is where you come in by sending your customers a message of compassion, understanding, and encouragement to anyone who is from Ukraine or who may do business in Ukraine . We use AWeber and it is our very favorite communication tool with our clients because unlike many CRM tool that are “no-reply” AWeber gives our customers an instant opportunity to respond and connect with us. We love that! As a result, many of our “customers” are now loyal fans and friends and we encourage you to do the same.
If your business is predominantly on a social media platform such as TikTok, Twitch, Mixer, YouTube and others, then video is going to play a major role in how you communicate with your audience. The same is true if you have your own membership community such as Patreon or a self- hosted community site. Your message needs to be personal with you and your entire team if you have them. Be sure to include a opportunity for your fans to connect with you beyond the comment section and in private if possible.
If this is not something you have done before, but would like to we have a couple of tools to help you that we really like and use. For all of our video creating and editing needs we use TechSmith Camtasia. We have been using Camtasia for years and you can find out more here if you need help with your videos. The next tool we have for you is MemberPress for your private membership community on your WordPress website. MemberPress has been one of the best investments in our business that we have made for creating our educational content and private membership community. If you have an online business or even an ecommerce business, your most loyal customers and clients would welcome being apart of a community of people that think and feel the same way they do (especially right now!). MemberPress will help you create and operate it effectively. We have showed you WHAT to do and suggested some tools to help you connect with your customers and clients in a personal way. Now we are going to show you HOW to create that message. Here we go…
How to Create Your Message
When you are creating a message to your customers they are going to experiance an emotional responce from your message and of course, you want that to be positive. So, how do you do that? You are going to want to accomplish three things with your message;
- Let your customer know they are safe with you and that you genuinely care about their wellbeing.
- Let your customer know they are valued by you as a human being and not just a revenue source.
- Help your customer feel empowered by you adn your company to meet their current challenge.
Close your message by inviting your customer or client to connect with you or send you a message. Ask them to reply and let you know how they are doing and if they are currently facing a challenge that your company can provide a solution for. You could also provide links to other services that may be benificial to your customers that are outside your businesses scope or capability, but may be of value to your customers in other areas of their life. This is your opportunity to be a hero and empower your customers with solutions to their current needs. Have no doubt they will remember you and thank you for it.
I hope you will follow up on this and if you have comments or any suggestions on how to comfort and support our global friends please post it on our Twitter Chat so that the rest of us can make good use of your insights. If you are in need of some extra support please feel free to send us a private message on our HELP page. We stand with our sisters and brothers of Ukraine and the people of Russia who are risking their lives to protest the actions of Putin .
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