This, of course, is in a normal trading environment but that is not what we are in at the moment. Customer loyalties will be tested even more now – given that buyers are fearful for their own business survival and have less budget to spend. Your loyal customers will also be tempted by special offers discounts and new products and services that can help them survive – from either your direct or indirect competitors.
The first thing you should do to keep your R (Retention) rate up is to contact all of your existing customers. Establish which ones have been furloughed and which ones are still trading. Concentrate on the ones who are still trading and prioritise those that are in the fastest recovering sectors e.g. IT, Telecoms, online services etc. Don’t forget the others but monitor their websites and social media feeds – for clues as to when they will be back in business and trading again.
Ask your customers what their biggest challenges are and what they most need at the moment to see them through this period (which perhaps you aren’t currently giving them). Use social media posts, video calls, local virtual forums and online surveys e.g. SurveyMonkey – to get their valued feedback. Perhaps invite them to a more intimate 1to1 virtual coffee meeting, where you can talk more openly about your shared challenges!
Keeping in touch with customers regularly through this lockdown period, understanding what they really need and going the extra mile to help them – will mean that you emerge with a fiercely loyal audience (as well as potentially new channels for communicating with them). The feedback you get now may allow you to adapt your offering to the new look economy ahead, create new revenue streams and even target new emerging markets.
Staying agile, staying focused, staying positive, staying attentive and staying available for your customers – will help both you and your loyal customers emerge stronger from the current economic situation and deepen your existing trading relationship.