Customer & Employee Messaging
Surrounding COVID-19
Clear communication with customers and employees is an important component of your crisis management process. By letting your stakeholders know that you are being proactive, they can spend their time focusing on other parts of their life and make more informed decisions as they relate to your business.

Below is sample language that a variety of organizations have used to address common stakeholder concerns surrounding COVID-19. Our goal in sharing these messages is to give you an idea of approaches taken by different organizations, including:
  • Providing links to relevant information
  • Giving a glimpse into how your business is being proactive, what steps you are taking regarding cleanliness
  • Focus on customer safety and peace of mind
  • Provide tips for how the reader can be safe/take action/be part of the community to help your customers feel as empowered as possible in this difficult (and often overwhelming) situation
  • Clarify any alterations of policies for customers and/or employees (i.e. more lenient cancellation policies or sick time off for staff, etc.)
  • Showing care and concern for you employees and customers
  • Provide additional value, if possible (i.e. offering online options or curbside service to minimize contact)

While there is no one "right" way to handle these kinds of communications, it is helpful to stick to your brand, help assuage your client/customer fears and be proactive - both to help keep your operations running smoothly and to share that you have your stakeholders' best interests in mind.
Sample Language
Delta Airlines
"...For more than a decade, Delta has been preparing for such a scenario. As a global airline, we have strong relationships in place with health experts including the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), the World Health Organization (WHO), the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and local health authorities worldwide. We are in constant contact with them to make sure our policies and procedures meet or exceed their guidelines.
Operations are our lifeblood. We’ve learned from past experience with outbreaks like H1N1 and Ebola, and have continually refined and improved our ability to protect our customers. That includes the way we circulate clean and fresh air in our aircraft with highly advanced HEPA filters, the new fogging procedures in our cleaning process, how we sanitize aircraft between flights and how we respond if a customer is displaying symptoms...
A command center in Atlanta has been stood up to guide our response, leading our global team of thousands of Delta professionals dedicated to this effort. That includes our reservations specialists handling thousands of incoming calls, our flight crews and Airport Customer Service (ACS) agents taking extra care of our customers, and our TechOps and operations coordination teams keeping the airline moving. This world-class group of airline employees has your back, and I have never been prouder of the women and men of Delta.
...Transparency is one of our core values, and we are committed to keeping you fully informed as the situation evolves....
University of Wisconsin - Madison
"The health and safety of our co-op community is our highest priority. As the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) continues to spread throughout the country, I wanted to share some of the actions REI is taking to help protect both you and our employees....
We are:
  • Increasing the frequency and rigor of cleaning and sanitization in all of our retail stores, distribution centers and office environments.
  • Based on the guidance we’ve received and the actions we’ve taken, our stores remain open for business—as do, REI Outlet and REI Adventures. And in our stores, we’re doing all we can to make sure you feel safe, comfortable and welcome.
  • We are updating terms for cancellations and refunds for all REI events, activities, and adventure travel programs to provide members and customers greater flexibility in making decisions that are best for them, without incurring financial penalties.
  • We have modified our paid time off policies to ensure that our employees—including hourly retail employees—who miss work due to illness or to care for sick family members do not suffer loss of income or other benefits.
All of us at REI understand that this issue is cause for concern to many, and we offer our deepest sympathies to those who have already been affected. Rest assured that as circumstances continue to develop, one thing will remain the same: We will make our decisions with the health and well-being of our members, customers, employees and communities as our highest priority."
SwimWest (Madison)
"... Remember that we are in a chlorinated environment and we have the highest quality UV sanitation and purification systems. This makes SwimWest Swim School pools some of the cleanest places in the community.  The  CDC  stated this week that “there is no evidence that COVID-19 can be spread to humans through the use of pools or hot tubs. Proper operation, maintenance and disinfection (e.g. with chlorine or bromine) of pools and hot tubs should remove or inactivate the virus that causes COVID-19."

Over the past week, we’ve heard quite a bit about COVID-19. Here are additional precautions we are taking and ways that you can keep our facility clean and healthy:  
  • We have more seating options on the deck at Deming to help parents spread out. 
  • We put up additional hand sanitizers all around the facilities.  
  • We have upped our cleaning game around the center every hour by wiping down the doors and bathrooms. For making space in the building to spread our families out more, we are asking to have a parent escort children to lessons but we ask at this time that additional guests and grandparents stay at home.  
  • If you have swimmers over 7 and wish to wait outside the building in the car or at our picnic tables while your student attends class, please let staff know how to reach you immediately by your name and number at the front desk.  
Here is what SwimWest is continuing to do: 
  • Provide multiple hand sanitizers
  • Continue to wipe down counter spaces
  • Have employees wash hands on a regular basis
  • Continue to keep our restrooms clean
  • Increased sanitation attention to the entire facility

How you can help in our efforts to keep SwimWest safe for you:
  • Stay home if you are not feeling well 
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth  
  • Wash hands before coming to the facility 
  • Use hand sanitizers or wash your hands as you leave the building 

We want you to have peace of mind when visiting SwimWest. Our priority is ensuring you have a safe and healthy environment to swim in. Obviously this is an unprecedented, rapid-evolving situation, and so we more than welcome any feedback or questions. We will continue monitoring the situation and if you do have a concern or query we encourage you to give us a call.

Grow with Google Local Events
With Grow with Google Wisconsin approaching quickly - and in light of our new policies involving travel and event attendance - we wanted to reach out to you with an important update. Based on our most up to date assessment, the potential difficulties around travel, and in consideration of general public health and safety, we have decided to cancel this event.

Note: Google does hope to reschedule this event for Madison in the future
The Studio Yoga (Madison)
Dear Students,

You are on our hearts and minds. In light of the evolving situation with the Coronavirus, we wanted to make you aware of the following:


  • Although cleanliness has always been one of the top priorities of The Studio, we have taken things to the next level including frequent sanitization of door knobs, faucet handles, and railings. We are also disinfecting tea pots, water pitchers and bathroom surfaces several times per day and have increased the number of hand washing stations at both locations.
  • Blankets, blocks and straps will be removed from studio spaces today (please bring your own.)
  • Students will be required to wipe down their fitness equipment after each class and per usual, we will be sanitizing the bar in the fitness room after each class.
  • As always, floors are washed between classes and hand towels and dish cloths are washed after each use.

Online Options

  • Today, Kathleen will hold a 15 minute Guided Meditation online at noon. We understand that uncertain times can lead to increased worry and stress...we hope today's offering can be of help. It is free. Register here.

  • As of Friday (March 13th), we will have several online class options throughout the week. Watch MindBody and future announcements for these offerings

What we ask of you:

  • If you are sick in any way, please stay home and enjoy our online options.
  • Wash your hands frequently.
  • Please bring your own mat (and props if you would like to use them.)
  • Please bear with us...and please stick with us.

We will continue to monitor and will make adjustments as the situation warrants. We recognize this is an unprecedented situation and we are working hard to provide an opportunity of calm respite.

Sending you much love and peace,

The Studio Staff
The Wisconsin SBDC Network is a proud part of the  Institute for Business & Entrepreneurship  in the  University of Wisconsin System . It is funded in part through a Cooperative Agreement with the  U.S. Small Business Administration.