Being honest and transparent with your customers is going to make your life a lot easier. Your suppliers are in the same position as you and need time to normalize their positions, staffing and supply lines.
Luckily most customers will empathize and understand that you are not in control of what is happening and this is anything but business as usual.
You will also experience some clients that do not understand and may make demands on you or your staff that are unrealistic.
- Remember that your clients are under a lot of stress too. Outline what you can and cannot do in simple terms. Empathize but be honest, explain why a customer's request cannot be achieved. Perhaps your suppliers are not yet open, perhaps you do not have enough staff to meet a deadline etc.
- When possible, provide an alternative solution, show a way around the roadblock. At the end of the day, we are all facing challenges we never planned on. When it comes down to it, it's ok to tell customers that you are not able to meet their expectation at this time. Save them and yourself the stress of overpromising.
This too shall pass!