With the recent economic downturn, customers are tightening their grip on their wallets, resulting in many small businesses fighting to gain their trust.
So how can a business build customer loyalty at a time when so many customers are looking to reduce expenses?
Ten thought leaders share their advice below.
Don’t Sell Yourself Short
As a small business, the way that you interact with your clients during the pandemic will be the thing that makes or breaks customer loyalty. It is crucial to show your customers that you are with them and understand the stress of these uncertain times. Show your clients the true value of your product and be flexible in the services you offer. Customers will remember how your business handled client relations during the pandemic. If you remain client-focused, you will retain long-term customer loyalty.
Be on Your Customer’s Team
We believe in establishing a true partnership with our clients that goes beyond standard support. We provide our clients with resources including live webinars and articles that are relevant to their needs. During the pandemic, we rolled out a new suite of situation-specific resources to proactively help our clients succeed despite the challenges. Our team is always available to our clients for questions big and small and we have continued to remind them that we are an extension of their team during this challenging year.
Be Transparent With Your Offerings
Be as transparent as you can with your customers. Offer them what you can and explain the need for any products or services that aren’t being utilized. Focus on the ones that are and offer discounts to keep them loyal and even attract new business.
Anthony Basuil, Technical Recruiter
Find Incentives to Keep Them Engaged
Even if transactions between a company and a customer are extremely low, there is no reason why you cannot keep your customers engaged. Whether it’s an update about company policies, the release of new products or an incentive on a sweet deal, let your customers know that you’re still there for them. Always remember that even if your customers aren’t sitting in front of you, they are still online.
Catherine Howard, Digital Marketing Specialist
Don’t Over-Contact Customers
Be present and supportive but do not over-contact them. Those still working are busier than ever, supporting more with fewer resources. Be clear, be concise and follow up after you’ve allotted them enough time to address their priorities before getting back to you.
Noah Wisnia, Head of Talent
Create To-Do Lists
In pre-pandemic times, clients often “know” what they should be doing, but do not take action. Providing simple prioritized “to-do” lists at this time is a great way to build loyalty and help clients take action they may be more open to acting on in today’s uncertain world.
Value. Value. Value.
Teams have to be asking: How can we be more helpful to a client? What could we give them that provides more value? What resources do we have that could be of assistance? Also, be willing to be flexible. Companies are hurting. Why wouldn’t you be flexible on terms if you can be? Kindness and empathy go a long way.
Alex Reiff, Senior Director
Don’t Cut Marketing Costs First
Unfortunately, marketing is one of the first areas to be cut during a downturn and this time around is no different. This is often short-sighted by companies as the number one way to build a rapport with their audience is to connect with them through meaningful and genuine communication.
Sarah Lysecki, Content Strategist
Increase Your Flexibility
One of the best ways to retain customer loyalty is to be flexible. Right now, customer needs are all over the place. It is important to show them that you can be whatever they need at that moment. Making sure your customers understand that they have an ally during these uncertain times will not only help your business survive, but it will also retain loyalty long after the pandemic is over.
Find Ways to Cultivate Community
Building loyalty doesn’t have to be expensive. For me, it’s as simple as adding value through more masterclasses and mini-trainings, specific to these times. In addition, this is a great time to cultivate community.