Retaining Clients Amid the COVID-19 Pandemic
Jul 30, 2020 06:18 PM EDT
Since the start of the coronavirus and the subsequent changes that followed, business has been rough across the board. Many have had to temporarily close their doors, make necessary health and safety changes in their brick and mortar locations, lay off hardworking employees, and/or adjust to managing a remote workforce (or work from home), all while watching sales decline.
Naturally, you're worried. You've got bills to pay, payroll to keep up with, and a business you're trying to keep afloat. You're plagued with the fact that if you don't do something to increase sales soon, you could be looking at the end of the road for your business.
Though it can be common to want to take a more direct approach (cold calls, promotional emails, increased advertisements, etc) in trying to get clients to schedule an appointment, use your services, or make a purchase, pushing too hard to generate revenue will surely backfire. This is especially true when the entire nation is struggling physically, emotionally, and financially.
In order to retain clients amid the COVID-19 pandemic, business owners need to not only provide quality products/services but to connect with their customers in a way that shows you care. Finding this balance can be hard, at first, but by using tips such as those provided below can make things easier.
The last thing you want is for your clients to think that you're not in business or don't care about their needs. That's why it is important to communicate with them regularly throughout the pandemic. Whether it's making a weekly phone call, sending out a newsletter, messaging through social media, sending a text, or holding regular virtual meetings, your clients need to know that you're present, available, and ready for business whenever it best suits them.
Connect on a Deeper Level
Remember, there's a lot going on right now and everyone has been impacted by it in some way. When engaging with clients, it is important to keep this at the forefront of your mind. Reaching out as if it were "business as usual" could seem insensitive and cost you a client.
Find ways to connect with your clients on a deeper level. You can share your personal struggles and advice on social media, share funny videos, give words of encouragement, interact with clients on their social media platforms, send out "Thinking of You" cards, or whatever else you deem might be ideal to connect on an emotional level.
When communicating one-on-one, ask how life has been since the start of the pandemic. You can use a notes app to jot down their concerns. Later, you can refer to them to see if there are ways you can help. Whether it's referring them to a government agency, connecting them to someone from your professional network, or finding a way to save them money on your products/services, it goes a long way in showing your customers that you care.
Adjust To Their Needs
Last, but not least, if you're going to retain customers during the coronavirus pandemic, you'll need to try and adjust your products and/or services to meet their needs during these uncertain times. For example, if your brick and mortar location is closed, you should immediately develop a website or eCommerce platform to continue selling to your customers.
If your services are a bit higher priced for your financially taxed customers, you might lower your rates, provide discounts, or develop a payment arrangement. Can't meet with your clients in person? Make sure you have adequate video conferencing software and collaboration tools you can use to provide them with effective service.
Depending on the type of business you run, you may need to revamp your products/services altogether. For example, if you're the owner of a gym, you may have to switch to offering personal training services and workout videos from home for customers to subscribe to.
If you're trying to run a business amid the pandemic, but are struggling to keep the lights on, there is hope. Outside of seeking financial assistance through grants and loans as well as finding ways to cut back on company costs, make sure that you're implementing marketing and sales tactics such as those provided above to continue meeting the needs of your clients.