Change is inevitable. If you want to succeed in life, and in business, you have to be willing AND ABLE to change. But even if you are ready, willing and able to change, your customers and fans may not be as ready or able to deal with it as you are. Don’t damage your connection with your clientele by making a clumsy hash of your decisions to make a change.
Ronn Torossian, CEO of 5WPR, has 3 tips to help you communicate messages about your change without discouraging or alienating your customer base.
Leak the Possibility and Watch the Reaction
One strategy that can help to inform your developmental public relations is to “leak” the possibility of a change far ahead of any action steps. Because social media encourages instant reactions, and those reactions get handled like actual news, it can be a simple way to discern how your customers will react WITHOUT actually subjecting them to a change. Remember, the key here is to let the information come out, but disguise the source. Don’t actively deceive, just don’t volunteer the source of the information.
Offer Minimal Explanation
Once you have decided to make a change, do not get bogged down in explaining WHY the change has to be made. That is not really what people want to know, even if that is the main topic of questions or complaints. Offer brief and direct explanations, while avoiding self-serving speeches that come across as making excuses or coddling.
Offer Specific Benefits
When you do discuss why changes are being made, the goal should be to focus on the benefits to the consumer. THAT is what they really care about. Sure, they might bristle at the “why”, but it’s the benefits that will actually land in their heads and hearts. The benefits will call them to action, not the rationale for making the change.