An essential checklist for COVID-19

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    As a business leader, owner or working professional, you are trying to do the best you can right now, and you are probably doing a great job.

    You are keeping up with global, national, and local updates. You are learning hourly the impact that COVID-19 is having or will have on your work and economic situation, your personal and professional life. You are seeking ways of feeling good in such dangerous and terrifying times, knowing there is a human need to help each other now more than ever.

    So where do you begin to be helpful towards other people, like your valued customers and colleagues? The following two checklists can help.

    Customer checklist

    1. Be transparent

    Think about the questions some of your customers may have, and anticipate this with a solid list of FAQs. For example, if my yoga studio is now closed, does that mean that as a customer my direct debit payment is paused? Alleviate any additional stress in their lives by anticipating what they may be asking.

    2. Give people options and alternatives

    Think through scenarios and imagine ways that customers can access your business differently, respecting the social distancing measures in place. Can you provide what you would normally offer face-to-face online? Now is the time to be creative, think differently and set new rules of engagement.

    3. Honour any loyalty programs or customer status

    Proactively communicate what your stance is on customers’ status. For example, Qantas and Virgin last week informed me that they would honour my current frequent flyer points and put a 12-month extension in place. That’s one less phone call or internet search I have to do, one less thing for me to worry about, thank you very much.

    4. Apply standard procedures flexibly

    ‘Business as usual’ no longer exists; now is the time to be flexible and adapt. What changes have you made to your policies? Have you considered looking at your standard procedures and terms and conditions to suit the times? Aim for a win-win solution that shows people you are being fair and reasonable.

    Every time you send out something to your customers, check in to see how helpful you are being

    5. Communicate helpful messages – don’t add more noise

    Every time you send out something to your customers, check in to see how helpful you are being. Yes, thank them for their patience and offer well wishes for their health and safety, but get on with providing solutions, answers and useful suggestions. Empathy is needed, as well as action.

    Colleague checklist

    1. Be transparent

    A great way to communicate facts and make sure employees are not confused is to explain ‘what this is’ and ‘what this is not’. When you spell out what is happening versus what people believe is happening, you can eliminate misunder-standings, rumours and assumptions.

    2. Overcommunicate your values

    Remind people of the company’s mission and values, the collective they are a part of. This may even inspire some to think diff erently about how to achieve those values during times of social distancing. You want them to be advocates of your business when we come out the other end.

    3. Be impeccable with your word

    Choose your words wisely. Slow down on the phone and take a step back in any written communications before you press Send. Language that is compassionate, helpful and human should be weaved in and out of the facts, tough decisions and clinical responses that may need to be given from time to time.

    4. Stay connected

    We are social animals that are now being instructed to keep our social distance. The subtle mental and emotional distress that this causes people will have a longer-term impact, and you can be proactive right now by addressing this. If you haven’t already, set up a series of weekly or fortnightly team webinars where people can come online and connect. This gives people an outlet to talk, share and learn from each other – most of all an outlet to stay connected.

    We are experiencing a recalibration of the world right now, and it feels brutal. There will be a new world order. So what matters is what you do right now. The spirit of service is needed like never before.

    Jaquie ScammellJaquie Scammell is a sought-after speaker, facilitator and coach who works with some of the largest global workforces in retail, banking and hospitality. Jaquie has managed and advised workforces of all sizes, from small teams to staff of more than 9,500, interacting with millions of fans on a daily basis.

    Original Article