How to Communicate in Times of Crisis
Communication is paramount for all organisations- particularly during times of crisis this becomes most evident. In crisis people are so keen to absorb and listen to useful information that might help alleviate stress or navigate through the uncertainty. As an organisation, communicating with clients regularly helps to promote the sense of being united and recognising their needs to hear from you.
Over the past weeks, this has been true here at Clinked. From client Zoom-inars to discuss How to Use Clinked for Clients & Teams Now with top 5 tools, to attending other excellent sessions from experts on the topics, we've been knowledge sharing about our product and absorbing knowledge from experts. Today, we're here to share those findings and hope they help keep you up to date on the best ways to communicate with and support clients today.
How to Use Clinked for Clients & Teams Now Zoom-inar: Top 5 Tips
Last week, it was Zoominar time! A range of Clinked clients joined one of our one-hour Zoom-inar sessions. These were hosted across 3 different time zones, to include our clients in Asia, Europe and the Americas (thank you for joining us - it was great to catch up with you!).
If you weren’t able to join or aren’t yet a client (we hope you will be soon!), here is a recap of our sessions where we toured through the top Clinked features designed to aid client communications: Dashboards, Reachout & Mobile Messaging (along with a couple of golden oldies to use). Enjoy!
Dashboards - Announcement Widget
To open our Zoominars with a focus on client needs, we explored the new feature referred to as ‘Customisable Widgets & Dashboards’. These configurable activity dashboards enable users to quickly see a summary of activity across their various groups in the dashboard once logged in. Now you can customise the setup of each group's home page to meet that client or group's needs; whether you want to show folders, tasks or an event calendar. Widgets can be displayed on the group dashboards page for easy access.
Reach for the Stars with 'Reachout'
We were delighted to visit with users how our ‘Reachout’ feature can be used to contact members across multiple groups at the same time. Super handy for immediate communication with your clients - from a monthly newsletter or event invitation to a notification of your business go-forward plans given the current pandemic or updates on the changing circumstances.
Creating a Reachout is an easy tool for Super Admins users. Just write up the text, add any attachments and selected the groups recieving the Reachout. An email will be sent out in bulk to the members of the group or groups you've selected - and, you will have the ability to check who has been sent the communication and can send a test email, if you wish.
Swift & Secure Mobile Messaging- 1-1 & Group Chat
With our new Messaging Area in mobile allows you to communicate with colleagues & clients with just the swipe of a thumb!
This feature was demonstrated in our Zoominars to show how we as a team use Clinked chat internally to quickly communicate with each other, whether individually or in a group.
What makes our chat so unique? Ease the stress of chasing clients with Clinked chat! When away from your desk, you can chat with your clients in a secure and confidential environment that is mobile, permission based and auditable. The new messages area feature looks professional and helps you connect easily when remote, giving you another way to efficiently manage your client work, that is much needed right now!
Learn more here in our full feature announcement.
Now for our 2 golden oldies!
These two features are ideal to help in today's need for advanced communication.
Discussions is a main feature in Clinked, you can easily create discussion forums in each group. These forums are a great place to ask questions within the team without disruption, where the discussion can be progressed at any time. Discussions can be used with clients, where comments and feedback are integrated with the related files, tasks, events, etc. Announcements can be made; this feature allows members to post social-media-style ‘status updates’, with attachments, keeping everyone in the loop and engaged!
@Mention for all tools (files, notes, discussions, tasks, events)
Alongside tools, you can also use the mention messaging feature to reach out to a specific user. They will receive a notification once tagged, both within the portal and through email- a useful reminder or method to highlight a certain task or note whilst it is fresh in mind!
Alongside hosting our own Zoom-inars, we’ve been expanding our knowledge by attending webinars of other organisations to keep up to date on and learn more about the best practices and strategies to communicate with clients. Amongst there were two that stood our for us. The first was with Dr. Vanessa Marcie from Leading with Humour who is hosting fireside chats with leaders across industries to discuss "Humour in Time of Crisis" and explore how to user humour even in the face of uncertainty for better team and client relationships. The second was hosted by the Cambridge Network with Simon Hall, a former BBC Correspondent share on best practices around Coronavirus Crisis Communications. Below is a summary of each.
Best Practices: Humour in Time of Crisis
Dr. Vanessa Marcie is asking leaders in various industries to discuss the concept of humour during times of crisis. She invited our very own, Chief Revenue Officer Sarah Broderick to kick off the ‘fireside chat’ series. During the discussion with a large audience, the two shared that communication today is paramount. And Sarah shared here top three needs for all discussions during crisis to be:
Humour can be the carrier for these traits in any conversation - as well as a chance to change the mood to a lighter feel vs the heavy feeling created by the level of uncertainty in many businesses today. Humour allows one to be vulnerable and to bring their authentic self to the conversation with team members and clients - often, it acts as the catalyst to make people willing to have the necessary tough conversations and, given the work from home side of life, to bring the usual barriers down. This allows for deeper conversations on topics that may otherwise be abrupt & limited. Hence, laughter is always the best medicine!!
Learn more about this chat and future chat by following Leading With Humour on LinkedIn.
Best Practices: Crisis Communication with Simon Hall (Former BBC reporter)
“It takes 20 years to build a reputation...and five minutes to ruin it.” - Warren Buffet
Many business have already gone through the process of communicating with clients about organisational response to the pandemic underway. If you haven't or want to review your processes, we highly recommend visiting these notes from a fantastic session with Simon Hall, a former BBC reporter & current communication consultant in the UK. During the hour session, Simon shared best practices on how to manage crisis communications and insights to help keep you thinking in the moment and ahead.
The session shared tips on messaging, timing and regularity in the context of how to communicate during the current crisis. Notably, it takes a company 20-24 hours to communicate when a crisis has happened. You should prioritise participants, these should be your key customers and need to be reached out to through a variety of means (e.g. email, social, phone, intranet, video, website, client portal, press).
His top tips included:
- Use a holding statement showing 1. Empathy, 2. Actions, 3. Realism
- How long? Keep it short & simple
- How to put it? Upbeat, short & funny
- Cleaning up when all is over: Use the window of opportunity to say thank you for staying with us (a free month or something to say thank goodness it’s over!)
Hope you found this blog insightful and can put into practice some of these ways to communicate with clients at a humane level.
Our Clinked product has never been more of the moment, and we really hope our features may help you to enhance your client communications - and we promise more Zoom-inars to come!
Thank you to both Dr. Vanessa Marcie and Simon Hall for teaching us how to use empathy in facing the current crisis, as well as ensuring to have a laugh along the way!