Covid-19 is not a sales opportunity

Published date: 13 Mar 2020

David Hicks, TribeCX CEO, comments on the coronavirus outbreak on LinkedIn, the way businesses are responding to the panic, and how they SHOULD be reacting instead:

“Yesterday 7/10 items on my LinkedIn feed were companies trying to position their products as responses to C19…

Real people are going to get hurt…”Families are going to lose loved ones before their time”:Boris Johnson, 3/12/20.

I felt annoyed, powerless, and afraid. So I took the day to call 8 business colleagues in UK, Europe, Australia and N America, and asked how are they and their families doing, what their organization is doing and, how could I help?

They said, that what would be helpful is to share what other practitioners in our field are doing. I’m not suggesting the list below is exhaustive, but as of 03/12/20 it’s a practical summary of the 5 key things CX practitioners are doing and finding helpful at this time:

  • Focus on colleagues.
  • Focus again on colleagues … not a mistake to say it twice.
    CX Leaders are thinking and lobbying about the practical impact this event will have on colleagues. The press is full of details about companies cutting employee costs (layoffs and forcing unpaid holiday). If companies are to prevail after C19, they’ll need motivated staff. It’s false economy – and just plain wrong – to nickel and dime your colleagues now. Now’s the time to really live your companies values.
  • Be honest, and authentic with customers (and colleagues). You can’t over communicate about the risks you and they face and then share details of what you’re doing about it. In the absence of information, customers and colleagues turn to other sources and there’s some crazy stuff out there at the moment.
  • Prepare for the downturn, be ready to do more with less. Nearly every economist says this crisis will precipitate the much expected downturn, so you’ll need to be ready to do more with less once this is over. Start to prepare now.
  • Redouble your social media watching and listening. We’ve already seen stories of the impact of insensitive C19 strategies on customers and colleagues. Even more people are scanning social media for news and insights, so if something goes wrong, in the current circumstances it could also get big very quickly. So redouble watching and rehearse, be ready for when things go wrong “plan for the worst and hope for the best”.

I hope this is a helpful start; please feel free to add to this discussion on LinkedIn here so as we can share details of what works and what to avoid. Thanks to those contributing today.”