You may want to develop a plan for how to communicate to your customers about any increases they might see in their next bill.
- Get ahead of the issue: If you can, put out communications before customers will get their bills. Provide as much information as you can about any cost increases so everyone can better understand how the increases happened and what they can expect will be passed along to them. Consider various outlets for your message – a media release sent to your local newspaper and social media posts, for example.
- Create talking points: You likely will have people who call, asking about possible high utility bills, if you haven’t already. Put together answers to what are or will likely be commonly asked questions. You will want a consistent message to go out to everyone who contacts you. If customers hear one thing for one employee and something else from another, it can erode confidence during a time when many people are already anxious about costs and the world in general right now.
- Designate a point person or persons: If you can, have one person or a couple of people handling customer questions. That way, those employees can make sure the message is as consistent as possible and track down any follow-up information or answers that are needed.
- Acknowledge customers’ concerns: When communicating, either in writing or conversation, be sure to acknowledge customers’ concerns. Including, “I/we understand,” and “I am/we are sorry,” can go a long way.