How to Limit the Coronavirus’ Negative Impact on your Business
News about the Coronavirus has spread far faster than the disease. More than 1.29 billion online articles have been written about Coronavirus (Covid-19). Considering that the first major outbreak occurred in December of 2019, it’s amazing how quickly it has taken over the public mindset.
I think a big reason why the news of the Coronavirus spread so quickly has to do with timing. The coronavirus came on the scene as the trade war with China was heating up. They were already in the thoughts of the public when the news released that the virus came from the Chinese providence of Wuhan. The combined force of the two news events emerged, and the news spread beyond China’s censorship control.
It’s in Your Clients’ Top of Mind Awareness
The news flowed out of China, and into the minds of your clients. And, this news has them worried! Your clients are questioning whether or not they should call their service providers. Many clients may choose to wait until after the outbreak has subsided to take care of their non-emergency.
This negative impact is already hitting contractors in a big way. At this point, I’m going to advise you on some approaches to get in front of (or at least limit) the economic impact on your business.
Three Keys to Protect Your Business During the Coronavirus Scare
#1: Have a Plan of Precaution
At this point, it is unclear how bad the coronavirus will be. I’d like to think it no worse than anything else, and it will just fade away. Yet, I don’t want to look back at these words I’m typing and regret not taking the proper precautions.
So, creating a precaution plan is prudent. Let’s start with your field reps.
To protect your field reps, you should assemble a safety and disinfectant kit. This kit should be packaged in a professional carry bag.
In the kit, you want to include the following items:
- Medical Gloves
- Respirator Masks
- Paper Towels
- Hand Sanitizer
- Floor Savers
- Property Protectors (like mats and covers)
- Spray Disinfectant
- Trash Bags
Distribute the kit to each field representative and train them on the proper use of the kit.
Here are a few tips that will be helpful in your training:
- Washing hands: you must remove all debris, and wash for at least 15 seconds for the wash to be considered effective.
- Sanitizing your hands with alcohol is more effective at killing germs and viruses.
- Facial hair: I hate telling you this, but beards cause a huge problem with respirators. And not just beards, but any facial hair that prevents a proper seal on the face of the wearer. Here is a hilarious guide provided by the CDC.
#2: Communicate with your Clients
Now that you have a plan in place, you will want to communicate with your clients about your plan. I recommend that you communicate your plan in the following ways:
- A Mass Email: send an email to all of your clients letting them know that every field representative has a truck stocked with a Health Safety Kit that includes gloves, air respirators, and disinfectants. Let the client know that every rep will thoroughly sanitize their hands before any work is started. Also, no service rep will be sent into your home if they show symptoms of illness, or if they have been exposed to anyone that has symptoms.
- An Individual Email: before a service rep goes into the field, send a modified email with the information above.
- Over the phone: cover these details with your client when they call in for service.
You will want to make sure that your field reps and client service reps practice communicating this information with the client. When done properly, this will build trust and assurance. When done improperly, it may cause concern.
#3: Adjust Your Marketing
This is the time to get into the studio and record your new radio ad or shoot your new video. One of the classic rules of marketing is to leverage the TOMA (Top of Mind Awareness) of the public. You may find a boost in your business if you adjust your marketing message to include your safety precautions.
In closing, you need to make sure you have a plan. The three steps above is a good start, but it may not be enough. I hope that it is enough because that will mean that the threat is being contained. As with all plans born out of a situation: keep your eye on the threat, adjust as you need to, and never panic.
Todd Liles is the Founder of Service Excellence Training and creator of the PRESS PLAY Training System.
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