Here’s another tip for crisis management. I’ve weathered many economic downturns over the past few decades, and I’d like to share what I’ve learned with you as we deal with the economic fallout of COVID-19.

Reframing helps you control the conversation instead of reacting to it. Answer the question your customers or employees didn’t ask but that you wanted to be asked— change the narrative. Celebrities and trained politicians are masters of this. You can be, too.

Instead of panicking and telling your customers, “We understand you may have to skip or cancel but please hurry back because our employees need you,” reframe the message.

Tell your clients, “I just wanted to let you know that we are committed to our clients. Even though there is a very high demand right now, our regular customers get top priority on our schedules. We will not bump you for a higher-paying, one-time deep clean. You are our #1 priority. We know that you need us now more than ever, especially if you’re one of our elderly clients. We know you need a clean home, and we are there for you.”

Then you can list several things you’ve enacted in your company to keep your customers additionally safe, like more training sessions, cleaning with disinfectants, employees washing their hands right after they arrive and right before they leave, etc.

The choice is yours. You can react in panic and scare your customers into cancelling or you can reframe their concerns and emphasize what it is that you can do to alleviate their fears during this crisis.

I’ve handled reframing questions many times over the years that I’ve been doing interviews. Invariably someone asks me a question that I don’t want to get into but when I answer, I reframe the question and get the point across that I wanted to make.

When you start to pay attention, you’ll see that celebrities and politicians do this all the time. They answer the question that they wish the interviewer had asked, not the one that was asked.

The next time a client calls to cancel or pause their service, try this tip and see if you can change the narrative to how you’re helping them weather this storm.

Need more tips NOW on surviving this crisis? Join the 10-day Coronavirus Response Challenge. I’ve got advice on what to do, how to respond, how to deal with media, and how to reassure customers and employees during the COVID19 Crisis.