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As a business, you have to stay connected to your community. Anything that affects your community is going to affect you. Economic hardship is going to cause you to lose business. Natural disasters are going to occupy the minds of your customers. It’s important during these times that you stay connected with your customers and communicate clearly. Here are three tips that can help you do that.

Communicate Early

When a crisis strikes, don’t wait to reach out to your customers. You need to reach out quickly. Failure to reach out quickly can cause employees and customers to be uncertain about how they should proceed. They may become uncomfortable with your leadership. They might even start to do things that you don’t want, and as soon as a precedent is set, it’s hard to change. On the other hand, if you reach out quickly, your employees and customers will be comforted knowing that you are prepared and have things under control.

In order to be able to reach out quickly, you need to be prepared. It will be difficult to quickly develop appropriate policies and measures under pressure. You should prepare for a crisis ahead of time by creating company plans for each type of crisis that you are likely to encounter. These include market crash, natural disaster, pandemic, social upheaval, and more.

Focus Your Message

You should take consistent safety measures to keep employees and customers safe. It’s extremely important that your measures stay consistent. Conflicting messages will breed confusion, frustration, and distrust. If you already have a crisis plan, then it will be much easier for you to keep your message consistent. Your messages also need to focus on the greatest concerns of your customers. You should provide specifics on how you are addressing these concerns. Overly general messages will only confuse people and cause them to doubt your capability.

Update Regularly

Throughout a crisis, you should be sending out regular updates. Some businesses assume that they only need to send out notices when a policy changes. That isn’t true. If you only send out one notice, most people won’t see it. Those who do see it will only follow the new policy for a short amount of time unless they are reminded. The frequency of your updates will depend on how the crisis is escalating.

When crisis strikes, people look for stability in their lives. As a business, you need to be a calming influence and a voice of reason in difficult times. By providing your customers with clear and focused communication, you will be doing just that.

For more business tips, read this next: How You Can Be Prepared in the Case of a Job Loss