In today’s economy, one of the best ways we can recession proof our business is to retain our current clients. As our economy continues to fluctuate, controlling expenses and optimizing service levels from partners and vendors is going to become the focus for all of our customers. We all must be sensitive to these “changing winds” and enhance the experience of our customers each time we interact with them.
We must go back to the basics of serving our customers and take the actions that make a difference.
Here are three simple tactics that have been proven over and over again.
Keep in Touch – Our customers need to know we still care. Every relationship requires a sense of security and reassurance that everything is still okay, even your customers and even more so in a recession. Reach out to them often and remind them why you value them as individuals. Let them hear from you often. An Ezine is a great way to stay in touch and keep in front of your business so make sure you are publishing an online newsletter filled with tips and educational articles. Business is based upon relationships so cultivate them every day. A simple phone call, a hand-written note or a special gift will go a long way. Do not let too much time go by without calling your customer and saying “thank you, we appreciate you and we appreciate your business.” Also, don’t forget to ask them, “what can we do to enrich your experience?”
Wow Them, Every Time – Customers bought your product or service based on a promise that you or your company has made. Make sure that you always deliver on your promise and therefore maintaining trustworthiness with your customers. Customers want to purchase from companies and people they trust to deliver the product and/or service they need and with the value they expect. According to the book, Trust-Based Selling, trustworthiness consists of four factors: Credibility, Reliability, Intimacy, and Self-Orientation. The combination of these factors used in the right combinations will develop a connection with your customers that will lead to a long time relationship. Each time they interact with your company, be sure they walk away saying “wow.” Give them that little something extra that reminds them why they selected you in the first place.
Create Additional Value – Over promise and over deliver! Figure out ways to create additional value in your offering so your customers are consistently bragging about the value they receive from you and your company. An easy way to find these little gems is to learn about your customer’s business, what are the steps they take, what are their objectives and challenges. Is there a way you can provide assistance? For example, is there an administrative task that you can take over on your customer’s behalf that would add tons of additional value for them but not increase your costs too much? Is there something extra you could add in that would set you apart from your competition? These are examples of the little gems you could use to create additional value for your customers.
To recession proof your business, you want to make sure you retain all of your customers, so make it easy for your customer to do business with you. Go through the same process and channels that your customers do so you can experience the same exact experience your customers will have. Make adjustments if necessary and teach your staff how you expect your customers to be treated each time they engage your company. By taking the time to apply some or all of these tactics, you will create a culture centered on top-notch customer service. By educating your team on expectations and providing them the roadmap to deliver the services you expect, you will not only make your customers more loyal, but you will make your business more profitable. Simply stated, happy customers buy more and tell more friends about their experience. Use that as an opportunity to build upon your already stellar brand!
©Kellie D’Andrea & Associates
Kellie D’Andrea is the creator of the BLAST 9O Day Coaching Program and teaches biz owners how to build the business of their dreams for a life of freedom, profits and fulfillment. Interesting in growing your business, sign up for her FREE mini course “The Empowered Entrepreneur” and learn how to take the journey to freedom, profits and fulfillment at www.kelliedandrea.com