Webcare in times of crisis

At the outbreak of an international crisis, as is now the case with the outbreak of the Coronavirus, we see that there is a great need for news and information. Social media is an important source for this for many people. Posts are shared, liked and the reactions are massive. Unfortunately, these reactions are not only positive, and they often have a negative tone.

Good management of crisis communication

How do you manage a huge stream of questions and reactions during a crisis? Good organization of your webcare team is crucial!

How can you manage that enormous stream of questions and reactions during a crisis, without ending up in a yes-no situation?



Monitoring en listening

In a crisis, the webcare team operates as an external source of information for your organization. The employees in this team are on the frontline and they are the eyes and ears of your organization. Because they are constantly monitoring and answering questions, they know exactly what information needs the target group has. The web team can identify improvements in communication and make suggestions for online communication. Because they receive direct feedback from the online audience, it is also immediately visible which message raises questions, and which message is well received. Direct lines between the organization and the webcare team that operates on the front line are therefore crucial.

RIFF has set up standard processes to manage this feedback loop and to have it function continuously (24/7 if necessary).

Tone of voice and escalation matrix

Well-trained specialists know exactly what the communication guidelines are within the organization. Make sure that your employees have a good command of the tone of voice of your organization, so that they can also communicate a consistent message in times of crisis. All online questions, complaints and comments come through to this team; they provide answers or, if necessary, escalate to an internal expert. Draw up an escalation matrix that clearly states in which situation the employee must inform the organization or call in a spokesperson.



Proactive engagement and knowledge management

A webcare team can also proactively help by responding to incorrect information in comments and correcting it. This can prevent misinformation from being spread out of emotion and fear. Train your employees to be able to quickly anticipate a changing situation and to apply the appropriate measures. Good information provision in the team is crucial, such as an extensive knowledge base that is regularly updated. The webcare team, in turn, must be able to indicate which knowledge is missing so that it can be added quickly.


the secret

In times of crisis communication, there are only 2 important components: transparent and fast internal communication combined with clear and consistent external communication. You must constantly monitor the tone that fits best with the online sentiment, because in times of crisis, simply giving the right answer is not always enough. The use of images or videos can also help with this.


Checklist webcare

  • Is there a clear tone of voice?
  • Are there rules of engagement? How are questions from the press, influencers, trolls, etc. handled?
  • Does the team have access to up-to-date knowledge?
  • Is there a process to quickly add missing knowledge (and inform employees)?
  • Are there clear escalation processes?
  • Is there continuous feedback from Webcare to the organization? Is it clear what the information needs are?
  • Do you support your employees? To what extent can you make the work easier, can you support them by bringing them coffee/lunch? Can they work from home?
  • Are the systems set up in such a way that messages can be prioritized? By prioritizing certain signals/questions/complaints, they can be dealt with urgently. This way you prevent employees from having to struggle through mountains of retweets, for example.

Need help or advice?

Would you like to know more about webcare in times of crisis or do you need help organizing your webcare?

RIFF Digital Engagement

Human digital communication

Do you need help organizing your webcare activities, setting up a webcare team or need extra workforce within an existing webcare team? RIFF Digital Engagement can help you with that! We can act quickly and scale up, depending on the needs of your company.

RIFF Digital Engagement is part of RIFF, the full-service agency specialized in providing solutions and services for the entire digital customer journey.

We help companies make the transition from (online) customer service to full digital customer engagement and/or set up an omnichannel environment for customer contact.

Every company, in every sector, local or international, will have to think and act digitally in the coming years to retain customers and remain successful. RIFF Digital Engagement enriches, improves, and nurtures relationships through all your (online) channels. This leads to a consistent brand image and ultimately to a higher conversion rate. We are the provider for omnichannel customer contact, monitoring, measuring, and increasing customer interaction.

Our employees are practical and proactive. Based on a solid strategy, we will quickly take all necessary steps and actions. We understand better than anyone that every organization should benefit directly from our work. We combine the strengths of leading parties in the field of online customer service & customer engagement.

We make digital communication human!