Coronavirus crisis management tips


Reward customers who still buy
I had to shop in the official Lego store yesterday. In my mind I was in risk. I got no recognition or reward for this effort. Lego brand was untouchable until this tone-deaf moment. To avoid such errors make sure all your staff, retailers, and partners are understanding that this is a crisis situation to which they must adapt and reward customers in such situations. Even just saying “Thank you” means a lot. Customer relationship is about understanding and serving customers and not about just repeating a routine. Crisis has created new rules and customer relationships should learn and adjust.

Sales teams should increase their know-how
I have never met a sales person who is not required to be an expert in their products, clients, competitors, and the market. Now is a period when there is more time to increase know-how. This is an investment which will pay off after the crisis. Salespeople who are not learning, publishing content, preparing new presentations, building the company knowledge base, training their team, are missing this opportunity.

Do not stop publishing content
Most of our clients digital interactions have continued or increased. Just because countries are in lock down it does not mean that customers have lost interest. You should not stop sharing your know-how via content. Customers still appreciate what you are saying. There is no reason for content activities to stop. On the other side, companies that never provided value in their content are experiencing a sharp drop in interactions and many unsubscriptions because – simply – customers are finally noticing how empty of value their content is.

Do not stop the R&D
There is a high chance that Coronavirus crisis is an exogenous shock – a short term reaction to an external event – and not an actual financial crisis. In the case of a shock normality will return quicker and sales will accelerate immediately. If you continued your R&D activities you will be ready to benefit immediately without lost time. If you do not create new products and content then you will not be competitive later on.

Protect your suppliers
Suppliers are not a cost but an investment. If you need to lower the supplier related costs negotiate with them openly and include their feedback in the contract changes. Make it a multilateral change, not a unilateral one. You need your suppliers to come out of the crisis with full strength so you can continue working together.

Accept expert leadership in safety
Do not be the company that forces customers or employees to be in risky situations. Do not be the company which is tone-deaf. This is not a moment to define your brand with unique opinions. Follow the expert safety instructions and be the company that shows leadership in protecting customers and employees. This is not a moment to differentiate but to follow science based advice which saves lives.

Written by: Nikola Tosic
Publishing date: 18 Mar 2020