While I pray such disaster avoids your area, reality suggests some variation will strike. Perhaps not as catastrophic, but every community experiences a similar event.
Your customers in your community keep your lights on, pay your mortgage, educate your children, and support you in your lifestyle. You receive much from them.
So how can your business positively serve them in a crisis?
Here are 3 Ways to Work Positive in a Community Crisis:
The gift of presence—being there—is the most precious offering you can give in such times. Standing with a group and sitting beside someone communicates a compassionate caring that defies words.
You may need to close your business to be present, particularly at public events. Go ahead. You’ll make it back.
Or, you may discover staying open longer hours is the best way to be present, particularly if you are a retail or restaurant establishment where people naturally congregate. Give away something as an expression of your concern, preferably something that shares loving presence like teddy bears to children or coffee to adults. You’ll make it back.
In such crisis moments, emotional overwhelm can shut you down. You’re paralyzed from picking up the phone. You’re frozen in front of the TV.
Shake off the enormous temptation for your imagination to surge ahead. Deal with now.
Pick up the phone and check on a client’s child. Send a text to a customer to get an update. Act immediately to gather information in a caring way. Such an extension beyond your own needs sends the message that you are involved and want to continue to be.
When the crisis is in another hometown where you don’t live, you may still have clients or customers with friends or family who do. Be proactive in contacting them as well.
Also, due to the personal images TV reporting brings into all our homes, we collectively feel some anxiety. Be proactive with those customers who can empathize with the tragedy, e.g., the Newtown, CT experience touches parents of elementary school-aged children. They are imagining, “What if…” right now. Let them know you understand.
Long after the cameras are gone, the nightmares continue.
Reach out six months from now and check in. An empathic “How are you doing?” when everyone else quit asking displays a level of caring few expect or give anymore.
Mark the date and send a card or make a call twelve months later.
Polite persistence in letting your clients know “I remember and care” moves your relationship from merely transactional to transformational.
Tap the power of these 3 Ways to Work Positive in a Community Crisis and serve others today. You Receive so much from them. It’s good to give back.