The one piece of advice you must remember during all of these is that “care doesn’t cost”. One thing Coronavirus has taught us is that we are all equal, COVID19 doesn’t discriminate and the only protection you have is your own actions. The other thing we have realised is there is a huge amount of kindness around but also an element of selfishness.
So what does this mean for your business? Well the most important element is kindness ie. care. This costs you absolutely NOTHING. Yet, it is not only the right thing to do, but it is the best thing to do for your business.
You need to make sure your customers know they are not simply transactional to your business. By this i mean, they don’t just have a monetary value. ie. the relationship is more than just how much you can generate from them. As soon as your customer thinks or feels like they only have a cash worth to you and that there is no underlying relationship, you will lose them, either now, or later.
You will already have seen the organisations proving that customers only have a transactional value to them, the ones sending out emails promoting discounts, cheaper goods, quicker delivery times, voucher codes etc. They are showing their true colours, ie. you (the customer) are only worth what we can get out of you.
Now, look at the companies showing that the relationship is the most important thing right now. The companies asking how their customers are doing, making sure they are ok, healthy, not in trouble etc. Those are the companies showing to their customers that above all, the relationship is the moist important thing. Those are the organisations the customer will remember, stick with and continue to purchase off for a lifetime.
Customers want to see that the reason they have and continue to deal with your business is the relationship. Nothing is more powerful, nothing is stronger and nothing has more longevity that a relationship. If it can be with an individual person at your business, these elements are even stronger.
So now is the time to build, build, build. Forge those relationships if you don’t currently have them, strengthen them if you do. Show your customers you care, and your sales will stay and grow, but not necessarily in the short term. This gives you the best chance of maintaining your customer base and maybe even growing it, but because of the external nature of this threat (COVID19) this may not start happening until the medium to long term.. but… the above gives you the best opportunity of reducing the timescale of revenue generation to the shortest, quickest possible.
So let’s take a look at some of the simple things you can do over the coming weeks, whilst you have time, resources and a captive audience.
- Mailshots – limited competition for digital and hard copy mail shots, a great opportunity to hit all your customers, but keep the message relationship based, no selling!
- Text Messaging – a quick and simple solution to hit big numbers of people, send a friendly text wishing them all the best.
- Phone Calls – by far the most effective, take the time to call all your customers, prospects acquaintances etc. Just to see how they are doing. If you have the resources, spread this job out amongst your team.
- Video Calls – little bit more time consuming and more suited to the larger business with the larger clients, or even just focus it to the more important calls.
- Personal Mail – slightly more expensive, but you won’t have any competition, can go a long way and be something shared and remembered.
All the above keep your brand fresh in the minds of your audience, add tons of value and give you a tangible project to be working on in an otherwise quiet period. It can give you the opportunity to keep leads and customers warm and qualified. Update your database at the same time, why not.
Don’t forget a super combination of all the above is the best possible campaign!
Your customer’s are not and cannot just be transactional!