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During this pandemic, communication has focused on being immediate, urgent and short. This was necessary as a lot of information was coming through and needed to be shared quickly. However, once things start leveling off a bit, effective communications will change too. The needs of your customers will shift from emergency loans to follow-up discussions and then eventually more routine communications. While we know that you are all good communicators, it may not be a bad idea to take a moment, sip your coffee a bit more slowly and remember that this too shall pass. With that in mind, we thought we would give you some thoughts around transitioning your communications from crisis-mode to customer management-mode.
Learnings from the crisis. Making communications shorter and more impactful during the crisis helped get the message out succinctly and quickly. This approach is a good one to continue. Providing information in shorter, digestible ways makes it easier for your busy customers to get the message fast. Bullets are perfect for this style. If you were more creative and dabbled in infographics, that is a great way to share information about your services on your website, social media, and even email.
You have also likely learned that communications can be done remotely through various channels and that syncing those channels up is important. Continuing to hone that process will put your institution in a place of competitive advantage as you triage your customers' needs and continue to service them from multiple touch points.
Keep reassuring. Just because the crisis starts to wane doesn't mean that your customers aren't still feeling anxious. This pandemic was unprecedented and so the recovery will take time. Continuing to reach out and check-in with your customers will be appreciated and is good business too. You may find that you need to provide additional advice during the transition as business owners get back on their feet and need a little extra push from their community leaders.
Irregular to regular communications. While the crisis necessitated more sporadic communications with your customers, as things start to settle down, regular communications can replace those urgent ones. Set up your email campaigns again and update your business customers regularly as you did before. They will likely even feel more at ease knowing that your communications are "back to normal."
Also, you likely have several new customers from PPP that need to be folded into your campaigns. Make sure that you provide them with any additional information they may need as you nurture those relationships and make them loyal customers.