How To Address
The Growing Communication Crisis During COVID-19
As the business world deals with the impact of the novel coronavirus outbreak (COVID-19), safe communication and effective customer engagement are more important than ever.
Most countries are implementing strict measures to curb the spread of the virus, and the communication gap has left the public scared and in cases furious. Effective communication while being conscious of sanitary and safe health practices is thus becoming critical.
As the coronavirus pandemic continues to escalate, more and more industries are searching for effective ways to keep communication channels open without the need for face-to-face interaction or non-personal devices. It is also recommended by the WHO and governments.
However, due to the diversity of communication channels currently used by the public and businesses; as well as the time implication and cost of developing custom applications for this purpose, this is proving to be difficult.
This becomes even more complex when we consider language barriers and different communication channels in various countries. You might be using WhatsApp and Gmail, while your clients only use WeChat and Facebook Messenger, all the while everyone communicating in their own native language.
To offer effective communication in a crisis, governments, organizations, and businesses should, first of all, offer remote/mobile communication to minimize the need for physical interaction. Secondly, they should be able to communicate in any language and through any channel their target audience is currently using on their own personal devices. Effective communication should be easy, with no limitations.
This applies to all industries; healthcare (especially hospitals), hospitality (hotels), retail, education, and religious groups all require fast, effective, and ideally cloud-based communication to minimize the need for “face-to-face” communication while providing the attention their clients need.
In this article, we will discuss how you can use Glowing.io’s Customer Engagement Cloud™ to promote safe and efficient communication during the coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis. We will highlight the importance of effective customer engagement during a crisis and show you how Customer Engagement Software can help you implement the WHO workplace “COVID-19 Ready” recommendations.
What is Customer Engagement Software
…and how this software is making a difference in the current crisis
Customer engagement software is responsible for managing the interactions and communications between customers and staff. At Glowing.io, our Customer Engagement Cloud™ facilitates easy omni-channel messaging communication which allows for truly free communication across multiple platforms and devices, as well as bi-directional language translation; it allows for personalized, targeted messaging; effective management of customer relations; routing and escalation of requests and issues; as well as data analysis for an improved customer experience.
Thus, Glowing’s Customer Engagement Cloud™ environment allows you to safely communicate with your clients and staff without compromising health or convenience.
Why Customer Engagement and Communication is Critical in a Crisis
In today’s market, customer experience is your brand. Customer engagement software helps companies listen, communicate, connect and provide superior customer experiences. In a time of crisis, this becomes even more critical, with customers and staff looking to organization leaders for answers and guidance.
Four Aspects Of Effective Crisis Communication You Need To Implement Right Now
Easy and open communication channels for management, staff, and customers
Open communication channels are essential for reporting and dealing with issues as they arrive. Effective internal communication means that staff members can quickly report any concerns or personal health issues without the need to “check-in” with management.
Similarly, management can then effortlessly reassign tasks and communicate changes to the relevant internal teams through one interface.
Broadcast relevant information to one, few or many targeted internal and external audiences
The COVID-19 pandemic is changing daily, with new stats and information streaming in, the timely dissemination of information is critical. Using Glowing’s Customer Engagement Cloud™, you can provide your staff and clients with personalized relevant information that is delivered to them directly on their personal devices and preferred, popular messaging platforms (ex: WhatsApp, Facebook, SMS, Wechat, LINE, Skype and many more).
An impressive 90% of messages received on mobile devices are read within 3 minutes according to recent statistics. That means that with omnichannel communication – messages are delivered instantly to any device, through any channel – information is never lost or opened after it’s too late.
Demonstrate concern for health and safety and promote better practices, like social distancing
Social distancing is one of the WHO-recommended methods to reduce and stop the spread of COVID-19. Offering effective online customer engagement to promote reduced personal interaction is one way of showing your customers and staff your concern for their well-being.
Social distancing at businesses through customer engagement software doesn’t shut off communication. In fact, does exactly the opposite; it encourages safe communication and promotes healthy choices.
Remember that with Glowing.io’s Customer Engagement Cloud™, you can educate and inform your customers. Customers are more likely to react positively to new safety measures if they understand why they are being implemented and feel like they’re also making a difference by using them.
Provide solutions, solve problems and effectively escalate queries without personal interaction
People are scared, and this fear is what we as businesses need to help alleviate. When dealing with customers through Glowing.io’s Customer Engagement Cloud™, it is important to provide relevant solutions that don’t feed into this fear.
Let’s consider an example in a hotel setting – through the Glowing.io interface, the hotel manager has direct communication with each staff member and guest with zero need for personal contact. The hotel manager can receive requests, complaints, queries, and has the ability to quickly address any needs the customer may have.
In the current situation, guests are scared, they might not want to leave their rooms unnecessarily, but need food, medicine, basic toiletries etc. Glowing.io allows guests to now get in touch with the hotel through any channel they prefer, such as WhatsApp, Wechat, Facebook Messenger, etc. as well as in any language due to the bi-directional language translation, allowing them to easily request online food, grocery or medicine delivery.
Using the Glowing.io interface, the hotel manager (as their one easy point of access) can then quickly respond, acknowledge that the message has been received, inform the client of the progress, and prepare the client for the knock on their door as the parcel is being delivered. This will help clients feel reassured, informed and in control.
Internally, any problems can be reported immediately and where needed escalated to top-management for prompt resolution. No need for delays, meetings or personal contact.
As Glowing.io is a multi-modal, unified messaging solution, managers need only interact with our system to communicate with multiple guests/ customers or patients, on multiple messaging platforms in multiple languages. This can be a huge time saver and an essential communication tool for those impacted by the pandemic. Especially when dissemination of critical health updates needs to be quick, secure and efficient.
WHO (World Health Organization) COVID-19 Recommendations For The Workplace
During the coronavirus pandemic, we have seen luxury brands leveraging our software to assist in reducing the spread of the COVID-19.
As requested by the WHO, we should all be actively involved in getting our workplaces “COVID-19 ready”. There are a few simple steps you can take to keep your staff and clients safe in terms of communication.
Incorporating Simple Ways to Prevent the Spread of COVID-19 in Your Workplace
Shared Surfaces and communication tools: The WHO recommends ensuring that shared surfaces (e.g. desks and tables) and other shared objects (e.g. telephones, keyboards) be cleaned with disinfectant regularly. This is important because the virus can survive on these surfaces and spread when people use them.
Glowing.io’s software reduces the use of, and need for, these shared surfaces and objects. Effective Customer Engagement during these times means customers do not need to walk to an information desk, where they have to interact with an external surface or device that 10s or 100s of others have interacted with, or speak face-to-face with any staff to ask for assistance. With Glowing.io’s Customer Engagement Cloud™ your guests and customers can reach out over the safety of their own personal mobile devices.
Adding smart communication and engagement software to your business offers added security in terms of health and solves a major communication problem for businesses in the long-term. Clients will appreciate the simplicity, ease, safety and convenience of all correspondence.
Get Your Workplace “COVID-19 Ready”
Remote work and communication: In the event that there is a rise in new cases being reported in your area, the WHO recommends promoting regular remote work across your organization where possible. Having limited staff on-site, while others work from home, keeps your business open and your staff and customers safe.
Glowing.io’s Customer Engagement Cloud™ helps decision-makers communicate effectively with staff and customers. When a new plan is set in place it can easily be shared with the relevant parties.
Where remote work has been implemented, business leaders have been able to communicate regularly with their customers and their team members, anywhere, anytime by using cloud based communication software.
Plan ahead: The WHO also recommends having a contingency and business continuity plan prepared in advance. Your contingency and continuity plan will help you prepare your organization for the possibility of an outbreak of COVID-19 in your community.
Using broadcast messaging through Glowing.io’s Customer Engagement Cloud™, our clients have also been able to use the platform to engage with customers and staff, educate and take action where needed.
Management Protocol When Organizing Business Travel, Meetings & Events
Travel: The WHO discourages non-essential travel to high-risk areas as well as Face-to-Face meetings and events. It further encourages management and organizers to consider hosting these through teleconference or online video platforms to reduce the need for travel and close contact.
It is important that travel restrictions and canceled meetings be communicated as soon as possible. Using the Glowing.io’s Customer Engagement Cloud™ you will be able to send out broadcast messages, encouraging staff to limit non-essential travel, reorganize planned meetings to continue online and reschedule planned events.
How Glowing.io’s Customer Engagement Cloud™ Can Help You
By implementing the WHO control measures and leveraging Glowing.io Customer Engagement Cloud™, you are reducing the need for personal interaction (while still being personal), and improving remote communication and work. All of these actions can have a meaningful impact in our global efforts to win this battle against the coronavirus pandemic.
The opportunity in our current situation is that we are learning, we are growing as companies, organizations and institutions.
Communication software tools will improve how we work and interact long after the virus is under control. Through improved client engagement we will increase loyalty (and actually boost sales), increase our efficiency and uplevel the customer’s overall experience.
There is room to grow, especially now, and we will.
In the end, how we deal with customers, staff and ourselves during the COVID-19 outbreak will also determine our futures. The ripple effect of the current need for increased health and safety measures will last long after this crisis is over.
Above all, it is necessary that we find ways to care for our own health and the health of those around us.
Glowing, Inc. is a leading US-based software company that specializes in AI-enhanced omni-channel guest engagement solutions. We provide some of the world’s leading brands in hospitality and other verticals an intelligent and unified platform to overcome the complexity of in-the-moment messaging and enhance guest experience–helping them win guest satisfaction and loyalty.