When it comes to running your business, you have a plan for everything. Internet outages, sick employees, bad weather — these are all facts of life when it comes to emergency planning. When an emergency strikes and you need to notify your workforce and customers quickly and efficiently, what is your go to method? Do you call or send emails? Rely on word of mouth?
When an Emergency Strikes, How Do You Respond?
After repeated missed messages, lost time, and increased costs, a midsized distribution center located in the Midwest decided they needed to improve their communication strategy. This company has a reduced back office support team and most of their employees are truck drivers. Their mobile employees have only limited access to company email and may only check it once a day when they are in office. When an emergency occurs, it is up to the office support team to reach out to each and every driver and offsite employee individually, which can lead to significant delays in delivering important messages — like weather advisories.
A delay in notifying employees of company outages, cancelations, or other important and timely messages can increase costs and reduce profitability dramatically. But notifying employees is not the end of the communication chain. In order to maintain the goodwill of customers, it is imperative that they also receive timely notifications. Which is why the distribution center decided to use Zero Gravity Consultants as part of their business communication management strategy.
Bad Weather Threatens Closure
Recently, a dangerous snowstorm threatened to touch down near the distribution center. Snowstorms are especially unpredictable — what is predicted to be a nor’easter may end up only being an inch or two of light snow, and flurries can turn into snow so deep that a state of emergency is declared. Leadership for the company had to decide whether or not to keep the doors open and deliveries on schedule, or risk losing customer goodwill and profitability if they kept the drivers at home and the storm ended up being nothing more than flurries.
The snowstorm held off until the drivers returned for the day, but was predicted to continue on through the night. Management decided to take a wait-and-see approach before calling off the next day’s deliveries. As the storm worsened, the management team of the company made the decision to postpone the next day’s deliveries for the sake of employee safety. From the comfort and safety of their own homes, the support team was able to text and email all of the remote employees and drivers quickly by using Zero Gravity’s simple multichannel communication platform. In addition to notifying the drivers, as soon as the decision had been made to close for the day, the team sent notifications to their customers notifying them to expect delays in their deliveries.
Timely Notifications Saves the Day
The ease of Zero Gravity’s multi-tiered notification platform allowed the distribution center to send dozens of texts and emails quickly. The distribution center’s drivers didn’t have to risk driving on treacherous wintery roads just to find out they were being sent home, and customers were informed in a timely manner to expect a small delay in their deliveries. By sending timely notifications their customers, the company was able to maintain customer loyalty and satisfaction — despite the delay in the deliveries.