In these uncertain times, each week is changing and as owners, leaders and specialists in our field, we need to be ready to adapt. It’s our job to plan ahead and think about our customers’ needs, to support them through this challenging time.
Cashflow is the lifeblood of any business. Without sales and income, you don’t have a business. Therefore that makes your customers, the most precious assets some of us have in our business. And so, if this is the case, why do we often see so many companies spend thousands of dollars on acquiring new customers only to lose them shortly after getting them?
Here are two ideas for keeping your customers happy during this challenging time:
1. Empower your customers
New customers trying your online service? If you’re in lockdown (like us in NZ) then you likely only still able to trade for two reasons.
- Your business falls into the essential services category or;
- You have a digital product or service that can be delivered safely from your little lockdown paradise aka your home while you keep the wheels turning. Either way, you’re able to keep trading on some form despite having to operate in a different way to BAU and a lot of challenges to potentially overcome. Consumers are still able to purchase and for those businesses who fall into the categories I’ve just mentioned, you’re likely experiencing more demand than normal.
Your resources and infrastructure may be struggling to cope, your team may be scrambling to keep up with customer demands. Customer service is under the pump and complaints or requests are piling up…
If this sounds like you, what can you be doing?
Listen to your customers & take stock of common requests and make plans to integrate this into your online experience so your audience can self-service as much as possible, while turnaround is delayed.
If you’re currently taking 24hrs to return a phone call or query how could this timeframe be shortened?
What steps could you remove or improve?
Helping your customers now is a great way to nurture and retain your clients in a challenging market. If they are a regular customer, they will appreciate your swift support or if they are a newbie, you can bet they’ll remember how well you looked after them. Don’t wait for complaints to make a change, what could you do today to improve this for them?
Our customers are using email marketing, marketing automation, online chat and/or auto responders to simplify keeping in touch with customers during this time.
Update customer help sections with relevant information that empowers customers to help themselves.
Right now, you may be thinking where is the most valuable place for you to spend your time? Imagine a bucket with holes in it. Trying to fill it with water but all the leaks are emptying the bucket at the same time as you are filling it.
Imagine the time your customers are wasting trying to get help and the time your team is currently, spending managing queries. Could any of these be automated? Optimisation isn’t just focusing on conversion, but looking at the full customer journey and seeing where you can improve and personalise the customer experience to ultimately improve conversion.
2. Nurture Existing customers
Perhaps you’re in the above category but also maybe you’re running a business unable to trade in this time. Now more than ever is the time to reward and recognise your customers for the service they have given you. Don’t wait until you’re able to trade to tell your customers that you appreciate them. How can you do this?
- Send a message and tell them how business is for you now – Get personal. Customers love to learn more about you and your business (the good, the bad and the ugly), the people that make the wheels turn. You can remain front of mind and memorable by sharing stories and keeping active contact.
- Thank them and tell them how much you value their support
- Add value – What can you share at this time that would add value to your audience? Perhaps you have a tip on how to break the boredom. If you sell physical products, what could you do to ‘repurpose’ past content that would still provide value to your customers?
- Next steps – Share your plans for when you expect to get your service back up and running (timelines are good if you have them). If you are thinking about how you can modify your services, release a new product or just meet your market where they are now – tell them!
Get feedback from your existing customers and start building momentum now.
Hopefully, you’ve got a few tips and ideas on how you can delight your customers despite challenging times.
How does all this relate to Catchi?
As a data-driven business, the stats speak for themselves.
Live time value of customers outrank new customers each time, so retaining your existing customers is critical for sustainable growth.