This year I crafted our business strategy for crisis management. As a result of the past turbulent years and because of our responsibilities to our customers, this was an important task at TopLine Results.
The pandemic and its aftermath had a great impact on us as well as everyone else in the world. March 2020 was a time that will forever remain in our minds as one of uncertainty that resulted in scrambling to make the right decisions for our business and ourselves. Those years may have forever changed our lives, but each day we work to move forward and grow from what we’ve learned.
For TopLine, we had to communicate to our CRM hosting customers our business continuity plan and reassure our active CRM and digital marketing customers of our ability to fully support them and their business during such an uncertain time.
We had the unique opportunity to help our customers in this crisis, and we needed a clear plan on communicating our ability to help them ramp up their digital transformation as the world moved from being on-site to becoming virtual.
We also crafted some unique service offerings that met the needs of clients who were uncertain about their budgets and ability to invest.
While navigating through all the trials and tribulations the pandemic brought to our world, TopLine entered another crisis. This crisis should be on everyone’s SWOT analysis and business continuity plan: the loss of a key employee. Once again, we had to communicate rapidly with our customers about the changes in our business and find a way to complement the loss and fulfill our responsibilities.
While all these crises are different, they all need to be adequately addressed.
When I brought up the concept of crisis management in my monthly CEO roundtable, we all agreed that crisis management is a huge subject businesses deal with every quarter. We need to anticipate the issues that may arise and plan the strategies that will allow us to navigate through the storm!
Here are some important elements to consider when preparing for a crisis event:
- Create a SWOT analysis of your business and define the weaknesses and threats.
- Have a communication plan to adequately and rapidly tackle the most likely threats.
- Identify the tools to implement the strategy.
From SWOT Analysis to the Communication Plan:
Where it might be easy to build a SWOT analysis for the company, it is more challenging to prepare the communication plan because the content must be carefully considered in order to be communicated effectively and promptly to keep the crisis from getting worse.
To communicate in a timely manner, certain tools must be in place, and the one most often forgotten is CRM. CRM is a key tool used to streamline consistent communication, centralize customer data, and automate sales, marketing, and customer service processes. CRM software will improve relationships as it shows who you have communicated with and whether there was any interaction.
For the CRM tool to work properly, segmented lists should be prepared first. This will make it possible for the marketing team to send custom messages to specific lists. This is especially important during a crisis where certain individuals or companies may need unique messages.
Creating multiple templates that can be edited depending on the situation, will save you time in the long run. Having stored email templates in your CRM database will help you respond to crises promptly with preapproved language that effectively conveys your message.
Customer lists being generated and maintained in CRM will not only prepare you for crises but help you become a better marketer by enabling marketing communication to those lists year-round. It is a double win!
At TopLine Results, we specialize in process consulting, CRM, and digital marketing. Process consulting helps improve your strategy and SWOT analysis implementation. CRM and digital marketing helps you improve your communications. All three of these areas working together directly result in building valuable relationships. If you would like to learn more, give us a call at 800-880-1960.