In the first 24 hours of a crisis event, you would have contacted customers who have bookings in the next few days to indicate whether they can visit.
Very soon after the event, it's also important to be proactive in managing bookings taken for the next few weeks. This can result in fewer cancellations and more deposits remaining in the business for critical cash flow.
There are a few things you can do to reinforce the business as usual message:
- Review your bookings and identify any that are particularly valuable
- Prepare a message for customers with future bookings to appear in letters, telephone script, emails and on your website
- Identify the positive reasons why customers should still travel
- Contact all your customers and tell them that you are looking forward to welcoming them.
Assess the situation as it evolves including the status of access routes, and the condition of the attractions and services in the area that are important draw cards for your visitors.
If these are closed, will visitors want to come to your business? Decide whether you'll encourage customers to come or to postpone their visit. Whatever you choose, contact all customers who have made bookings for the next few weeks and update them on the situation.
Reschedule rather than cancel
If you're advising customers not to come to your business in the short-term, you will need to consider how you manage their bookings.
It's often imperative to keep as much cash in the business as you can during this time, and will be preferable to encourage customers to reschedule their visit rather than cancel when a deposit may have to be refunded.
Deal with cancellations
Inevitably there may be some clients who do decide to cancel or a situation where unfortunately you have to cancel future bookings. Be prepared for this by ensuring that your cancellation policy explains what happens if either you or a customer cancels a booking.
If you don't have a cancellation policy, read our advice on planning for booking cancellations.