October 29, 2023 | 3 minutes read

Part 2: Managing Customer and Investor Relations in Times of Crisis

Series: Promoting Business Continuity & Resilience during Times of Crisis

Amit Goldenberg
Amit Goldenberg
Partner Entrée Capital

Contributors : Maya Benichou, Jessica Yakim, Avi Eyal

A strategic aspect of winning a war includes keeping the economy running, and hence the need to manage business continuity, high levels of productivity, and ensuring this is communicated to all stakeholders both internal and external. A key part of business continuity is management of customer and investor relationships, and projecting a strong clear message of ‘business as usual’ – in as much as it can be under the circumstances.

A crisis catches the global eye through intense media coverage, especially social media. It is crucial to manage the narrative surrounding your company. Your customers and investors are looking to you for stability and transparency. They are going to be reassured by a message of resiliency. Stakeholders want to know that their investment and trust in your company is safe.

Disseminating information is not enough. Companies should create dialogue, set the right tone, and reinforce a sense of community, leadership and reliability both for you as a founder and your company. Some ideas follow:

With your Customers:

Transparency: Customers are likely already apprehensive, and avoidance or ambiguity will only enhance their concerns. Clearly articulate any disruptions in your supply chain, delays in service delivery, or other potential issues. Your honesty will not only mitigate confusion but also establish a groundwork of trust that you can build upon.

Contingency Plans: Your customers will feel much more at ease knowing that you’ve anticipated various scenarios and have plans to address them. Make sure you share these plans in a straightforward, easily digestible manner – not complex and too detailed.

Empathy and Professionalism: Acknowledge the emotional toll that the conflict is taking on your stakeholder. While it’s essential to acknowledge the gravity of the situation, it’s equally important to maintain a level of professionalism that assures your customers you’re capable and in control.

Frequency of Communication: Update regularly and consistently eg once a week or two. Not too often and not erratically. Focus on the customer goals, delivery and support and highlight in advance any impact you can anticipate.

With your Investors:

Regular Updates: In addition to above, share key metrics that can be impacted by the situation.

Strategic Responses: Elaborate on the strategies you are adopting to navigate the crisis. This could include relocating your workforce, implementing remote work policies. Investors want to see that you’re not only reacting to situations as they occur but also proactively planning for multiple eventualities.

Financial Impact: An essential conversation – investors will be understanding for the most part. Your business is not suffering because it’s not a good business and you want to show that.. Share projections of how the conflict may affect your revenue, costs, and overall profitability and how you are mitigating these risks..

Agility: Showcase examples of how you’ve adapted your business model or strategies in real-time in response to evolving situations.

In conclusion, during any crisis, especially one as severe as a war situation, clarity and reassurance are your most potent tools. Your ability to communicate effectively with your customers and investors not only reaffirms your leadership but also fortifies your company reputation and long-term viability.

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