After Britain’s ground-breaking Brexit vote, plenty of people are going to be shouting “fire” in a crowded theatre this morning. Whatever the long-term impact of this decision, the land of ‘Keep Calm & Carry On’, has given the world plenty to get agitated about for the next few news cycles.
If you’re in the customer business – and almost all of our clients are – you may be wondering how, or indeed whether, to communicate the impacts of this monumental vote to your constituents.
Below are five things you should be doing before lunch.
- Prepare before communicating. Sounds obvious but there’s no point of going out to your customers without a clear message or answer to their most obvious questions.
- Quickly draw up an impact analysis. What changes in the short-, medium- and long-term? What will you be monitoring for? How will your clients be impacted and how might you be able to better serve them if they are?
- Determine whether you need to be opportunistic in your communications. There will be plenty of opinions offered today. Do you have something meaningful and of value to contribute or will you just be adding to the cacophony?
- Craft a statement. You may not end up using it but it’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it. It needn’t be long or particularly detailed but it should demonstrate that you are mindful, calm and focused on supporting your customer or clients.
- By way of example, this is our statement:“Vested is working closely with our financial services clients to monitor the Brexit situation and help them with communications to their clients and constituencies. In uncertain times like these, timely and transparent communications both internally and externally is of the utmost importance for firms both big and small.”
- Ask yourself the tough questions. Even if you’re not going out with a proactive statement, be ready for the inbound. Put yourself in the position of your key clients and imagine what you might get asked.
- Put a command and control structure in place– firms often prepare well at the executive level but forget that client, media or analyst phone calls can come to anyone in their office.
- Does everyone in your organization know whether they should be interacting with clients today and if not do they know where they should route emails and calls?
- Command and control structures needn’t be complex (actually the simpler the better), they could be an email to all desks explaining who will be publicly representing the firm for the next 24-48 hours.
- Consider all your constituents.Remember that clients aren’t the only constituents you care about. What do you want to tell media, analysts, investors, or – let’s not forget – your own staff?