Communications – key to unlocking post COVID business

Communications – key to unlocking post COVID business

  • 08 June,2020

From Services to Manufacturing… Clicks to Bricks… Corporates to SMEs… Whatever the type or size of business, COVID-19 is the common challenge.

And now, even as companies across the world are wrestling with recovery from the peak of the crisis, the same compelling questions still have to be answered:

How do we keep staff and customers safe on our premises? How do we share news and ideas with people working from home? How do we refocus our business in order to survive?

Regular and reliable

Those firms doing best as they unlock their post COVID-19 operations often find they also have something in common. They’re using digital tools for fast and effective communication.

Even in recovery, communication has never been more important. People need regular reassurance about workplace safety. Homeworkers need a reliable source of up-to-date information. Engaging with customers requires clarity of leadership and meaningful messaging.

Effective communication is of course two-way. Managers also need employee and customer feedback and data to make good business decisions.

Microsoft sees information sharing and team collaboration as business critical in this crisis – for managing its peak and as key to recovery. That’s why it developed the Crisis Communication app, combining proven strengths of Microsoft Power Apps, Microsoft Power Automate, Microsoft Teams, and SharePoint.

One of the big lessons of lockdown is that business processes must be flexible. Now with some staff working from home and others returning to work premises, the app can be easily set up in all kinds of locations. Access is flexible too, via the web or on a mobile device, and users can share information and collaborate in Teams.

Employees can get company guidance: learn about in-premise safety measures, for example, revised business plans for the future, and how to keep customers up-to-date. News updates can be ‘pushed’ from selected websites or from the company’s intranet, relieving managers of having to remember to pass on each piece of information.

The two-way app also helps managers keep tabs on where employees are working each day (increasingly important as homeworkers gradually venture back onsite), and plan and communicate workflow.

Quick response

Another great way to give diverse staff information they urgently need is the Power Virtual Agents Crisis Response Bot from Microsoft. In-house information and content from any websites can be included in the chatbot. Companies can even integrate staff services, so core employee information is all kept in one place.

The chatbot doesn’t need developers or data scientists for easy set up, and it can be embedded on any website.

Firms can customise the chatbot with their own Crisis FAQ bot. So common and urgent questions – such as emergency numbers and travel policies – can be quickly answered. Managers get more time to focus on urgent priorities as a result.

For businesses that survive the COVID-19 peak, now isn’t the time to relax. Recovery needs careful nurturing, and communications should be at the centre of your strategy.

Join our webinar: Managing Crisis Communications remotely to firstline workers and teams
Friday 19th June 2020: 14.00 – 14.45 GMT