We are living in unprecedented times.
As a small business, we must figure out a way to survive and communication is key to survival. While large brands may have teams of communications experts to help craft their crisis communications and messaging, small businesses might not have such luxury.
Now, more than ever, customers are seeking not only transparency, but also support, comfort and the feeling that they are not alone in this. This is the time when offering kindness and building trust becomes most critical.
So we’ve compiled a few examples of good crisis emails, from large brands like Lululemon, Everlane, and Quicken, as well as smaller but exemplary brands like Nisolo and Humming Puppy. Read on to see how they are doing it … and don’t worry, we summarized everything at the end of the article for your quick reference.
Celeste, Lululemon’s EVP of Americas, succinctly communicated any business updates such as store closings, and offered sympathy for their employees and customers. In addition, she took the opportunity to reinforce Lululemon’s values by paying their employees hours they are scheduled to work. Furthermore, in case you didn’t know it, Lululemon has online yoga and meditation classes.
This email came from the Everlane Team. In typical Everlane fashion, they are reinforcing their brand value, transparency, by showing a collage of employees from their Monday all-hands video conference call with 219 team members. They plan to offer Zoom chats (video conference) with customers and are breaking their own rules by offering weekly specials, like $50 denims. They also set expectations on near-term communications so customers aren’t surprised by higher volume of emails.
This email came from Eric Dunn, Quicken’s CEO. Even the subject line “Quicken remains open for business – Message from our CEO” was helpful in answering customers’ one key question, "Are you open for business during this crazy time, which is also tax preparation time." For technology companies who are used to remote work and don’t have face-to-face interactions with customers, delineating customer support options are very useful. If you are a service-based business, elaborate on how you are helping business continuity for your customers.
Not all good crisis communications come from large brands. Nisolo is one of our favorite small businesses from Nashville, TN. We met them many years ago and witnessed their exponential growth first hand. In their email, they showed sympathy “we're with you” which was a great way to reinforce their branding: “Nisolo means not alone”. In addition, they talked about how they are responding to customer feedback, but also set expectations on communications frequency for the upcoming weeks. Offering a little entertainment during this somber time doesn’t hurt.
Humming Puppy is our favorite yoga studio. We met Jackie and her team when we were in Melbourne, Australia, and followed them when they opened their latest studio in New York City. The HP team is always caring and thoughtful, from their studio’s decor, to small details such as Aspar hand soap, to customer communications. Their email was clear and easy to understand, including changes to their policies, updating customers on their efforts to offer yoga classes online, and heartfelt sympathy.
You don’t need a large marketing team to write good crisis communications during the coronavirus (COVID-19). What customers simply want is honesty, transparency, and a reassurance that they are not alone during this challenging time. If you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us.
POPNOD is a marketing studio that champions women-led brands. We help you tell your great story, make a meaningful impact on your customers, and create a world that people want to be a part of. We do so through thoughtful web design, branding, and marketing and sales strategy.