Identify the signs of a loyal client during a crisis

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.

How to steer your business during crisis!

I think most people thing of negative outcomes for a business, or for their personal finances, during the crisis. The reality is, on the other hand, that not only businesses collapse during a crisis, a crisis can be survived. And, at best, a business or an entrepreneur can even thrive after escaping a crisis.

There are several types of crisis that can hit a business, understanding them and preparing for them will fortify your business during the crisis.

Many of us remember the latest financial crisis of 2008, which had impacted millions of lives and businesses worldwide. The effects of such a major financial downturn are so widespread, it is hard to escape. Some activities are hit harder, some are less vulnerable. There will always be another economic crisis, so it is wise to know their signs and also how to prepare for them. There are several other types of crisis your company should be prepared to face in case they happen. A natural disaster could occur, or civic unrest, or a cyber-attack, data leakage, a customer or supplier can go out of business suddenly, the death of the CEO, a media scandal, and the list goes on.

Whatever the type of crisis, you as an entrepreneur should be ready to face them. During good times, it is important not to enjoy them care-free. Planning and preparing for the types of crisis you could face is essential to survive, and even better, grow. Your managers and employees should know their role to play in mitigating any risks and responding to a crisis. Any such big event is better handled when everybody keeps calm. Communication is vital, transparency and honesty are crucial in these cases.

During a time of crisis, it is important to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses. Analyze your existing customers, determine who are the most valuable ones. Your most loyal customers, who will continue doing business with you during the crisis you are going through, or all of you are going through, will be your best support for continued business. Focus on keeping them as customers to get your business during the crisis.

There are certain businesses that can even be started or developed during the time of an economic recession. Activities such as bargain stores, groceries, auto repair shops, property management companies, financial advisors, accounting firms, healthcare providers, and others. You should identify the types of activities that will be needed during a crisis, as well as those that are most likely to see their customers withdraw their business once any sign of gloom is present. People will cut their expenses, companies as well, in time of crisis, but we can’t get rid of all of them, so activities such as those listed above, and others, will be crisis-proof.

In trying times, it is best not to be alone, this is why developing connections, partnerships and collaborations will take your business across the hole and even grow it after the crisis has passed. Don’t let any crisis your business encounters pass and be forgotten. Learn all the lessons possible from your experience, as it is still recent.