Critical Language to Use When Rebounding
When a crisis arises, it may feel like you're being pulled in every direction, trying to manage every little detail while also being tasked with prioritizing which fire to extinguish first.
When it comes to communication with your audience, Lisa Young, Marketing Director at Serendipity Media, says the goal should always be to maintain trust.
"Give your audience trustful and useful information so you can be seen as a resource and an expert," said Young, stressing it's vital to be truthful and upfront—acknowledging your customers quickly, even if you don't necessarily have all the answers yet.
"What causes customers to feel uneasy is if you're not telling them anything."
Continuing to communicate without addressing the elephant in the room only causes increased frustration and distrust.
"Staying silent is never good," said Young, adding that sticking to a timeline is wise and often a relief for those involved. "Communicate what you know, when you know it, and don't over-promise."
Though it's OK to be reassuring in your messaging, be sure to not make light of serious situations and do tread carefully with your language and approach. A crisis is the ideal time to keep your language simple and to establish three key messages to use when communicating with your audiences.
"Make sure everybody on your team understands those key messages and is ready to share them with your clients and customers," said Young. "That way, your whole team is saying the same thing. If you can't trust your team to do that, create one centralized point of communication."
Remain transparent. Be informed.
"There's so much uncertainty out there right now. You may think you're being honest and truthful, and then the next day things change," Young said, while explaining why constant communication should be a priority. "That's another reason to stay on top of communication—because things are changing so fast."
With things seemingly moving at the speed of sound, remain light on your feet to frequently reassess your overall communication strategy.
"What worked for you four weeks ago might not work for you now, as everything is shifting," said Young. "Revaluating should be part of your daily or monthly operations—whatever works best for you."
Words are incredibly powerful. Sometimes, it takes a detour in the road to remind us how much.
Watch Your Words
- "Just." This word minimizes efforts and confidence. Eliminate it altogether.
- "To be honest ..." Your clients already assumed you were telling the truth.
- "Will." This word offers reassurance, as opposed to "might" or "maybe."
- "Thank you." Remind your clients they matter—and you couldn't do what you do without them.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Groups Today.
This article originally appeared in the July/Aug 2020 issue of Groups Today.