Like me, you’ve probably received heaps of emails from companies telling you what they are doing and how they are impacted around COVID-19. Some of these communications are relevant to me, but many are not. I wanted to take a look at a few of the communications I’ve received on this topic and in turn, look at how they have portrayed this messaging across their channels. Hopefully, this will help you to consider the role of consistency in your communications around COVID-19. Here are three examples.

Example 1: Robert Walters

Robert Walters recruiter sent this email recently from their MD. It aimed to give me some confidence in their service continuity and perhaps shared a little too much detail around how they are operating as a team at this time. When I visited the Robert Walters website, I can see consistency with their message – which they have communicated through a pop-up. (I’m not a massive fan of the implementation of this message, but at least it’s front and centre). For the purpose of this post, I'm also checking social messaging, specifically on their Facebook page. In this instance, I couldn't find an update on their social media sharing this messaging at the time of writing.

Example 2: Wilson Parking

I have to admit I’ve definitely had a laugh with my husband about receiving emails from car parks at this time as they aren’t top of mind when you’re staying at home. Here’s one of the emails I received from Wilson Parking assuring me that they are open and demonstrating more flexible rates at this time. Their email is literally almost too long to show here, even in a screengrab. It definitely had more information that I needed (or cared about). My preference is for shorter, sharper communications, with a call to action to more information if you need more space. When I visited their website, I could find no mention of these special conditions or offers at all. Even after clicking around, I couldn’t see any mention of changed circumstances or any reassurance that they are open. On Facebook, Wilson Parking do have a social post mentioning they are still open. This was 2 weeks ago now though so is probably due for an update.

Example 3: Stripe

Stripe sent me what has arguably been one of the more useful emails relating to COVID-19 (yes, likely because I’m a regular customer of theirs) and I actually filed it rather than deleting it! Their website also has a subtle but effective link which details their response to COVID-19.   Stripe's Facebook page also has a recent post showing how to practically use the features they are offering.  

The Lesson

These three quick examples show three very different companies and their approach to communication at this time. Overall there is room for improvement in two of the three examples in communicating more consistently about changes that will impact their customers as a result of COVID-19. I caution companies from sending whole-of-database emails at this time and rather email comms should be segmented to include only those who are directly impacted or whom are likely to care.  If you are a company who has had to make changes at this time, make sure you are representing it on your website and social media so people who are looking for details can easily find them. I also recommend considering how you can portray certainty for your customers as part of this messaging.