We have all been receiving a barrage of emails from companies small and large about how they are handling the COVID-19 pandemic. In our opinion, most of them are WAY too long and provide details that clients, referral sources and employees simply don’t need. I don’t know about you, but when I receive an email that goes on and on…… I scan it and usually delete it.
It is our goal to help you develop not just one communication letting your clients and colleagues know how your business will operate during the pandemic, but to help you put a proactive communications plan into action; one that will span the next many months. Here’s what we suggest:
Your First Communication
Send a communication letting your clients and contacts and let them know how your business will be operating during the pandemic. Key messages should include:
- Your Focus on the Health and Well-being of your Staff . The importance of protecting your employees and their families from contracting COVID-19 and announcing your new “work remote” policy.
- How You will Continue to Seamlessly Deliver Services. Reassure your clients that you are still in business. Lay out your plan to keep all client matters moving forward.
- How Accessible You Are. Let your contacts know how to reach you and easily schedule a call or video conference with you. Look into a video conferencing service like Zoom or www.Whereby.com. Now more than ever your clients want to be reassured that you are there for them.
- Your Compliance with CDC and WHO Best Practices. Let everyone know that you are monitoring these important websites daily, and maintaining best practices as recommended by the CDC and WHO.
- New Virtual Focus. Be creative in how you will deliver your services in the future. Today I helped a mediator develop a Virtual Mediation Center in order to seamlessly offer his services. Think about and communicate how you can use technology to keep people engaged with you and your practice.
- Warm Wishes. Make sure to wish your contacts the best, with hopes that they and their families stay healthy during this difficult time
- Contact Us. End your message with the various ways in which your clients and contacts can get and/or stay in touch with you. Now is the time to offer clients your cell phone number if they need to reach you
Commit to writing blog posts about how your business can support people suffering from worries about the pandemic. For example, I recently suggested one of our employment law clients create a blog post on Employee Rights During the COVID-19 Pandemic after one of our friends was fired for challenging a company’s mandate that employees must come to work. Timely and relevant should be your mantra.
We have another client, a criminal defense firm, who jumped into blogging about Judicial Priorities During the COVID-19 Pandemic, then wrote a blog post providing answers to the bars and restaurants in Minnesota that may choose to defy the Governor’s Order to close, Think about the pandemic from the perspective of your clients and provide useful information to them. The same firm is working on a blog dealing with “What if A Bar of Restaurant Defies the Governor’s Order to Shut Down?”
Your Second Communication
Your second communication should focus on other new and relevant content you have developed to help your clients’ get through the COVID-19 pandemic. Consider setting a goal of being the go-to source for your clients and contacts by highlighting and promoting the new content you are developing around the COVID-19 pandemic. Other clients have been writing about the impact of job loss on child support and spousal maintenance. Put yourself in your clients’ shoes and think about what they are worried about now. If you can’t think of ideas, call them and let them know you are going to be writing a blog series focused on how to maintain business during COVID-19. Ask them what keeps them awake at night, then craft a blog post around the solution.
Your Third and On-going Communications
The key here is to keep your clients up to date on new content you are posting on your website. As we remind our clients, now is not the time to slow down on your firm’s SEO efforts. The last thing you want to do right now is to stop communicating with your clients and contacts. The challenge is how to communicate to your clients that you are fully operational. While there needs to be fluidity in the schedule of court dates, or previously scheduled meetings, it is imperative that your clients feel confident in your ability to continue to serve them.
We will get through this era of the COVID-19 pandemic. Law firms that make client communications and personal accessibility a priority are those that will engender the trust and confidence of their clients now and into the future.