Effective communication is a major part of the client experience in any year, but it’s become especially critical in 2020 as COVID-19 has caused a lot of confusion and uncertainty across the special event industry. People are understandably concerned about their upcoming events, as social gatherings are restricted to ensure the health and safety of guests.
In the past, miscommunication looked more like mismatched expectations or a misunderstanding about budgeting for something. Simply put, they were often inconveniences that were relatively easy to solve. This year, however, we’re finding ourselves stuck in the middle of a back-and-forth as we look to the authorities for updated information to convey to our clients.
These communication strategies will help you keep in touch with your clients, ensuring that everyone remains on the same page without any confusion.
Be timely, but don’t rush
When information is changing by the day (or even the hour), it’s important that we’re keeping our clients in the loop with up-to-date facts. However, in the age of social media and “fake news,” we need to approach everything with a modicum of skepticism. Stick to authoritative sources, like your state’s health department, and always confirm information before sending along to clients. Otherwise, you risk sending out false info, which will only lead to more confusion and possibly a level of distrust.
Speak with them directly
When it comes to emails and text messages, there’s a lot of space for misinterpretation in written communications. To prevent mix-ups, give your clients a phone call or jump on a brief video call to discuss any new changes or updates to share. This ensures that you can communicate exactly what you want, while also providing clients with the opportunity to ask questions in real-time.
Follow up by email
After you’ve spoken with your clients, it’s a smart idea to follow up with them in an email outlining the conversation’s takeaways. This is an effective way to double down on your messaging and create a paper trail about your discussion. It also helps your client to have an email to refer to at any point, instead of having to rely on their memories of your discussion.
It’s been a confusing year for event clients and they likely have a million questions to ask, even if they don’t know where to start. Make it clear that you welcome and appreciate all questions, so your clients feel comfortable opening up and asking for more information. There is no such thing as a dumb question, especially considering the fact that we’re all navigating an unprecedented experience together. In fact, one person’s question may help you better convey a message to other clients, so don’t leave anything off the table!
Miscommunication can be damaging to the client experience, especially in a time so fraught with uncertainty. Over-communicating is a better option than under-communicating, so do what you need to do to ensure all of your clients fully grasp the parameters of the situation and how it impacts their celebration. Moreover, effective communication enhances the brand experience, so with these strategies, you can take your client relationships from good to great.