HomeOPINIONKeeping your business safe after the earthquake

Keeping your business safe after the earthquake

The recent earthquakes have created major issues for some retailers in Wellington and the Upper South Island. It is a particularly emotional and stressful time for all those involved with our sector.

Retailers’ immediate concerns are always for staff, customer welfare and that of and their community. However it’s understandable that business owners will also be worried about their commercial performance, financial obligations and goodwill.

It is vital retailers think carefully about their comments to customers or the media. Negative messages can be impactful both on their business and those round them.

What you say and share in the heat of the moment can stay around in the online space well into the future. Erasing your digital history is much more challenging than simply be careful and considered with your commentary now.

Our key recommendations:

  1. Think twice. Seek help and external perspective on email or social media messaging to ensure content is not emotive or may frighten customers unduly.
  2. Mood and messaging. Try to remain upbeat (in spite of what your business may be experiencing!). Consumers respond better to those that are optimistic against adversity.
  3. Outreach. Keep up the communications with customers during challenging periods to reassure your audience and maintain goodwill.
  4. Personality. Make sure you include images, videos and other elements that can help maintain that connection and build bonds.

Retailers are a resilient lot and customers are highly supportive when they recognise there are challenges. Careful, crafted messaging can transform goodwill and the ongoing success of your brand.

Lorraine Nicholson of First Retail Group – working with Wellington City Council’s Resilience Team, pictured with Ecco Shoes Manager Stacey Clarke.

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