March 16, 2020
Communicating with Customers During the Covid19 Crisis
Are you communicating with your doctors, consumers and other constituents about how the Coronavirus pandemic could affect your relationship? Think supply chains, services, timelines, projects, rollouts etc. If you haven’t, you’re already behind the eight ball-you’re standing in the aisle at Costco, staring at the place where the toilet paper used to be.
But it’s not too late. Your clients need to know that you’re thinking about how they might be affected and how you’re planning on mitigating those effects. Chances are, they have customers and clients who will be affected as well, and they need to pass the information downstream as well.
- Communicate early and often. Be as concrete as you can, avoiding nebulous, wishy-washy words, if possible.
- Be honest. If you don’t know, say so. But let them know that as soon as you know, they’ll know. And then make sure you follow up.
- Keep the information flowing as long as the situation lasts.
- Invite feedback. You may not have thought of everything your customer is worried about. And if one customer is wondering, chances are, they all are.
A Checkup from the Neck Up: Staying sane while working at home
Except for weekly in-person meetings, most of our staff already work remotely. So, we're old hands at the new Covid19 work-at-home lifestyle. Most of us did transit through an adjustment period, where we learned how to nurture our noggins and bodies. Here are our essentials.
Keep a schedule If you're working with a team, make sure it's clear when you'll have online update meetings, get project updates, and work with other team members one-on-one. But then there's the time in-between. You also need to separate work from the rest of your life. That part of your schedule should include your spouse or partner, children, dogs, and exercise time.
Exercise. We can't underscore how important this is to your mental health. If you don't currently have a workout routine, make one up. Use large cans of tomatoes as weights, shake it when you're mopping the floor, and make time for daily strolls.
The nature effect. When we're stressed, our pituitary gland produces extra-large servings of the hormone Cortisol, which amps up our blood pressure and heart rate and can be a downer for our mental health. The good news is that being in nature reduces Cortisol levels. You can go whole hog and build a Zen rock garden, visit a park, or green-up your work- and living space with plants. We like hard-to-kill succulents like aloe vera and cacti, and standbys like philodendron and bamboo.
Fight the Big D. It's easy to get depressed in tough times. There's sad news, uncertainty, and work-life that's topsy-turvy. These are the symptoms the Mayo Clinic says you should stay alert for in yourself and co-workers:
- Angry outbursts, irritability, or frustration (even over small matters)
- Loss of interest or happiness in activities such as sex or hobbies
- Sleep disturbances, including insomnia and sleeping too much
- Tiredness and lack of energy, so even small tasks take extra effort
- Increased cravings for food
- Anxiety, agitation, and restlessness
- Trouble thinking, concentrating, making decisions, and remembering things
- Unexplained physical problems, such as back pain or headaches
A lot of this is situational and may evaporate after we get through the troubles together. But mental health can't wait. Talk openly about your feelings with someone you trust or a therapist. If you need help, please ask for it. The National Suicide Hotline is available 24/7 at 1-800-273-8255
How are you fighting the work-at-home blahs? Tag @bioticahealth on Twitter
Pay Attention to Who’s Not Getting Your Email
Say the postal worker who drops off your mail kept 3% of your daily haul to take home for her cat's litter box. You would be apoplectic, right? A portion of your email might as well end up in the litterbox, too. We fixate on the open and click rates of our campaigns, and ignore the bounce rate, which may flag a systemic problem.
Your email platform should account for all of the bounces. The reasons for getting rebuffed include the recipient left the company and or changed their email address, the receiving server has blacklisted your company or the sending platform, or your email set off a SPAM detector.
Acceptable bounce rates vary between 3 and 5%. If you have a small (<1000) list, you should start asking questions when you exceed 1%. Here's why:
- You might lose track of a valuable prospect because they left for a new practice or healthcare system. Action: research new address.
- When a clinic or hospital's server, blocks your mail, it can affect dozens of people in the same organization. Action: find out why, correct if need be, and ask the doctor or hospital to whitelist your email.
- Having campaigns consistently marked as SPAM by receiving servers demand immediate attention. Action: have the company that sends your email review your content for SPAM triggers. They are numerous, ranging flagged terms like "new and improved" to a suspiciously large or small amount of code.
- Even if your bounce rate is low, the losses can add up. You'll need to replace the bouncers with new names to maintain the size of your database.
Make Working From Home Work
So, you’re working from home for the duration. Sure, working in your pajamas is cool, and your dog appreciates all the extra attention, but it can be tricky to stay productive. Here’s a few tips and tools to help, while the world gets the whole pandemic thing straightened out.
It’s important to be able to stay in contact with our workmates. Some tools that make it easier include Slack - a remote messaging and collaboration tool for chatting and working in real time, and HighFive, for video conferencing.
Meetings? We don’t need no stinkin’ meetings. Unless you do. Try Google Hangouts or apps like Zoom or GoToMeeting for face- to-virtual face action.
Project managementPushing things along can be more difficult if a project manager isn’t lurking at the watercooler or magically appearing at your cubicle to ask, “how much longer?” Some good online tools for tracking projects include
Collaborate on Google Docs and use Dropbox to organize all your resources and make sure everyone who needs access to a document has it. Also, automatic backups.
You may miss the hustle and bustle background noise of the office. Stream some back-of-mind listening music (think classical, jazz, or your favorite John Williams movie soundtrack.) And there’s always YouTube.
Stay Social as Long as We’re Allowed
Don’t forget the social side! Many of us miss the interaction with our fellow human beings, so take a walk or Facetime your mom. Just remember to keep your distance. And avoid coughing or sneezing unless you’re willing to become a pariah.
Also, see "Tips for Hiring a Great Remote Workforce"
Biotica Booster Wellness Shot
The news has us scrambling for ways to boost our immune systems, and while we lack the scientific expertise to validate the effectiveness of our Biotica Booster wellness shot, we’ll file it under “well, it couldn’t hurt.”
Grab a blender and toss in:
2, 2-inch nubs of fresh ginger
2, 2-inch nubs of fresh turmeric (or a tsp of powdered if you can’t find fresh)
2 lemons, peel and pith removed
2 oranges, peel and pith removed
1 Tablespoon of honey
A couple grinds of fresh black pepper
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Pinch of salt
Do you have a special wellness shot? Spill it in the comments below.
Marketing Strategies to Survive the Recession and Flourish Afterwards
Out of an abundance of caution: plan now for recession marketing. Considering that we're in the midst of a pandemic, the market has crashed, and there's a price war in the oil market, there's no need to wait for the economists to proclaim a recession. Instead, it's time to roll out recession marketing strategies. Read the continuation of this article on our blog.