As business has slowed (and for some cases completely stopped) providing uncertainty, what will be the new normal? What could you offer to retain your customers during lockdown?
1. Ask for feedback
Don't be afraid to pick up the phone today and spend some time with your customers. You will learn how they are feeling and what plans they have for the future and how that will impact on you and your business income.
It's never a bad thing to hear what your customer really thinks about you regarding your product or service.
So get on the phone and ask for feedback from your key customers. Keep the conversation focussed on them, adding value where you can.
- What can we do better as a business?
- What can we offer/help/improve for you, to help you through this period?
- What don't you like about us?
- What do you like about us?
- What is our best product or service?
- Do you see value for money?
- Would you like a regular online/call meeting every week, fortnightly or monthly etc moving forward?
- Do you have any product/service ideas you would like us to offer/supply in the future?
- Is our website easy to use and what else would you like us to offer on our site?
- What will your company do/offer differently on the other side?
By asking these questions you will gain information that will shape your business strategy and you will be in a much better place to make the changes to move forward when things go back to normal and they will.
Customers will remember who helped and supported them through the dark days as well as the better times.
2. Look hard at your own business
You'll never get more time on your hands to take a long, hard look at your business.
Review as a team all of your internal procedures - sales processes, web presence, social media channels, customer service models.
How can you improve your service or product; the way you deal with customers; the way you react to customer feedback; where can you improve efficiencies?
3. Deal with the issue honestly and openly
Add a clear section on your homepage to relay any changes to your offering during the lockdown period.
Update your website FAQ section to show how you are mitigating risk, or explain further why you have closed and the processes you need to put in place in order to open.
Publish a newsletter to your customer base about the changes. This is a great opportunity to show them you are being proactive.
Now is also a great time to look at your web analytics to see which of your CTAs have a low conversion rate and need changing, or which pages are poorly performing, or what product packs are downloaded more than others and how this could be an upsell opportunity.
Finally, keeping in touch with customers may never be the same
With so many of us remotely working, the way we build relationships with our customers may never be the same again.
Ask yourself - with so much video calling and online networking today, do I really need to have that business trip, (consuming both time & money) when I can be more efficient using different mediums of communication?
I will always argue face to face is still the best, but still think about how you can adapt in the coming months to increase efficiency.
My last point. Make sure you are constantly reviewing your return-to-business plans because as Covid-19 has shown us, anything can happen.
Keep well, Keep safe