Before the COVID-19 crisis unraveled, our customers had specific business objectives and communications strategies for the year—needless to say, those quickly became more important to execute on than ever.
While the urgency behind those objectives and the content in those communications evolved, the approach to achieve and execute them was only amplified. The Evive platform is designed to send messages in timely, multimodal, and personalized ways, so the infrastructure was already there. But it became particularly important when such a global emergency occurred.
There is one step, however, that needs to precede communications for every scenario, crisis or not—methodical listening. We had a specific way of approaching this for the COVID-19 situation, making consumer research a standard part of our formula: survey, segment, send.
Gathering employee sentiment in the form of national surveys and MyEvive user polling was an essential step in our COVID-19 communications plan. Our platform constantly pulls in relevant data from a rich set of sources, but there’s something to be said for simply asking how people are feeling that day in light of the crisis. What are their greatest fears about it? What kind of support do they want from their employer? These are the kinds of questions we asked in our Evive National COVID-19 Consumer Behaviors Survey.
One key learning was that while employees were getting inundated with content related to COVID-19 from many sources and channels, not all were receiving it from their employer. Nearly 1 out of 4 people said their company had only communicated about operational impacts related to COVID-19 “once or twice” or “never.” Those who did report receiving more frequent communications from their employer were more likely to be loyal to their company, which emphasized the importance of our mission in the first place.
While the national survey gave us excellent insight into influencing factors of employee sentiment, the MyEvive polls directly shed light on what our users were seeking. For instance, those whose poll responses indicated interest in more mental health resources gave our customers an important finding that enabled smart segmentation in messaging. With findings like these, employees were able to be grouped into segments that would receive messaging about the resources they needed (and not be bothered with less pertinent ones).
What came next was targeted communications for other crisis-relevant segments, like:
- Members at high risk for contracting COVID-19
- Those on maintenance medications
- Transplant or fertility patients
Polling data expanded the reach that our platform data was already enabling. Not only were our customers communicating necessary benefits to the right groups of people, they were empowered to reach them on even more personal levels relating to public health information and resources that could provide needed support in this particularly challenging time.
With the surveying and segmentation in place, this final step speaks for itself. Circling back to where we started, these smart communications need to be sent in a strategic fashion: reaching people at the right times in the right ways. Throughout COVID-19, people have needed to be reached multimodally and rapidly more than ever. Whether in a global crisis, a local emergency, or day-to-day operations, this communications approach connects people with what they need, when they need it, and how they want to receive it. It’s already what consumers demand—and it’s what employees deserve.