By Karen L. Edwards, RCS Editor.
Crisis communications and planning is something we all know is a good idea to have for our businesses, but many have been caught off guard by this COVID-19 (coronavirus) outbreak and are scrambling. So, what should you be doing right now?
By now, you’ve probably sat down with your leadership teams to assess the situation. You’ll want to make sure that you have answered the important questions of how to keep your employees and your customers safe.
Can anyone work from home? This is the time that running a cloud-based business will have big returns. Office staff, HR, accounting, even estimators should be able to access the tools they need to work from home. If you don’t have cloud-based tools in place, this is the time to implement as working virtually may be how we operate for the next couple of months. The RoofersCoffeeShop technology section is good place to learn what solutions can help.
Who is answering your phones? If you have an answering service in place, great. If not, you might want to consider it. At a minimum, check with your phone provider about forwarding your calls to the person who typically would answer in the office to try to keep business running as normally as possible.
How will you have meetings? With recommendations in place for gatherings of no more than 10 people, it’s time to look into video conferencing. There are many free options such as Google Hangouts, Free Conference Call and some companies are expanding the capabilities of their free versions of their platforms, like WebEx.
Are your crews educated on best practices? Implement COVID-19 best practices as part of your Toolbox Talks. Handwashing, maintaining safe distances from others, avoiding crowded places might seem like common sense but it’s important to review. And under no circumstances should anyone shake hands! Use information from reputable sources as there is a lot of misinformation floating around the Internet. OSHA recently launched a website dedicated to helping companies prepare and the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control also established a webpage to provide information.
Are you communicating with your customers? It’s more important than ever to let your customers know that you are open and providing leak response and repairs as well as full replacements. Share what your safety practices are and how you will keep them and your employees as safe as possible.
While we are facing the unknown right now, it is important to not panic and to keep the lines of communication open with team members and your customers.
For more information on dealing with COVID-19 as it relates to your roofing business, visit the RCS Coronavirus page.
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