Coronavirus: Communicate with relevant stakeholders and customers
Clear, transparent and timely communications are necessary when creating a platform to reshape the business and to secure ongoing support from customers, employees, suppliers, creditors, investors and regulatory authorities.
Businesses will want to keep customers apprised of any impacts to product or service delivery. If contractual obligations cannot be met as a result of supplier or production disruption, it is important to maintain open lines of communication to revisit timelines or invoke “force majeure” or “act of God” clauses. Such proactive action will help to mitigate punitive damages or liabilities associated with disrupted customer obligations.
For employees, communications plans should try to find the balance between caution and maintaining a business-as-usual mindset.
Businesses need maintain regular contact with suppliers regarding their capability to deliver goods and services during the COVID-19 crisis and their recovery plans, so that the company can consider alternative supply chain options in a timely manner.
Creditors and investors
Businesses will want to review terms and conditions on loan contracts to identify sensitive debts and avoid vital technical debt breaches. These reviews will have the added benefit of giving businesses a chance to proactively manage the dialogue and communications with creditors regarding any necessary amendments to existing terms or refinancing arrangements.
Government and regulators
When communicating with relevant stakeholders, businesses will want to consult with their legal teams for advice on potential liabilities and with their business units regarding how to manage communications around ongoing breaches and collection of proof, if any.