Your customers are the lifeline of your business. They are vital for your business to sustain itself and to grow. It is simply obvious, that with a low customer base, or few loyal customers, a business won’t be able to stay in the market for long time. In a time of economic downturn, or a business crisis, this fact becomes even more obvious. And failing to engage your most loyal customers during a challenging time, a global crisis for instance, will be your doom. You should plan ahead how to determine who is a loyal client during a crisis, engage them and retain them.
During any crisis you should act swiftly, with a clear mind, based on the crisis management plans you have laid down before any wave would have rocked the boat. Panic, chaotic decisions, lack of communication or disinformation are the worst things that could happen during challenging times.
On the contrary, you should know who your key players would be, among your employees, partners and customers, and focus your actions and communication towards them. During a crisis, a business must most importantly survive and escape unharmed. Time has proven that a crisis can be an opportunity and a chance for growth for many businesses, if they act smartly and profit of the arising opportunities. But in that moment though, your focus should be on retainment, and not growth, how to keep your most loyal customers.
Especially during a global crisis, such as a financial crisis, that affects all, reassure them that we are all in this together. Make your company values clear to them, highlight the benefits of keeping purchasing your products or services. As I mentioned, communication is key during this time, and you should use all effective communication channels, such as social media, emails, and so on. Make your messages honest, relatable, and personal, stay away from technical or salesy messages.
Address their concerns and needs, as they may have shifted their behavior or priorities during these troublesome times. Listen to them and adapt to their feedback.
You should know, as a business owner or a manager, what your customer retention rate is, using mor general or industry specific calculation formulas. Without knowing who the loyal client during a crisis is, your sales and revenues will drop considerably. After all, a loyal customer is much easier to convert to a sale than a new customer. Repeat customers, who trust your brand, will create more sales.
In conclusion, focus on customer retention and not customer acquisition during this time. Use all the efficient ways of soliciting their engagement and feedback. You should consider having a customer loyalty program, use technology as much as possible to engage with your loyal customers effectively and in a timely manner.
Come-up with innovative ways of speaking with them, engaging them, retaining them. Your actions should also be analyzed and based on the results and the feedback, improved and streamlined even more. Analysis should be the key in identifying the most loyal customers, the most efficient processes, assets, costs cuts. Efficiency should be a priority in a time of crisis, for a business, an industry, or the entire world. Technology is the key to success in all these aspects, and it should be embraced and utilized to the fullest.