The economic slump is affecting businesses at all levels, spurring companies to get creative about retaining customers. You need actionable tips on how to increase sales at a time when people are looking to save rather than spend. No one understands this struggle more than small business owners.
If I asked you the question, “What’s one way you are looking to your current customers to help support your business?”, what would your answer be?
Here are some examples:
- Partner with Customers on Content: Getting insight about a specific industry that we service from one of our customers and having that individual write content for our social media posts is a great way to share different perspectives on business. Other customers are more likely to engage with the content if they know it was written by a real customer, like them.
- Encourage Reviews and Testimonials: Customers that have already bought and tried our your service are always encouraged to post reviews and testimonials. This is a great way for customers that already love your brand to spread the word. Reviews and testimonials prove you are a credible and trustworthy business and it offers potential customers an insight into what it’s like to buy your product or service.
- Cultivate Relationships: Oftentimes, when there is an economic downtown, the first expense companies cut is marketing. Now is the time to not cut on marketing expenditure but to rather focus on the marketing channels that work. Here you can ask customers for their input. Having the support and trust of our clients not only supports our business but strengthens our bond with our clients.
- Get Customers Involved: No one quite understands the complexities of business planning, starting a new business and applying for funding than our customers that have personally been through the process. Encouraging customers to post or demonstrate what they’ve learned and giving advice to other would-be entrepreneurs is a great way to support your business while educating future and current customers.
- Adapt to Fit Customer Needs: The best way to help your customers support you is by adapting your business to solve the problems they currently experience. Life is fluid, and the people offering what is needed ‘right-now’ don’t need to work so hard at pitching their customer base. I would advise businesses to look at what they could do differently to adapt to the changing needs in their market—as in that way their customer-base can better support them through sales.
- Incorporate the Big Picture: We ask all of our customers to help promote our business through social media and word of mouth if they enjoyed their experience with us. In turn, we market our customers’ businesses to others in our daily engagements with the market. The one hand washes the other, so to speak.
- Take Part in a Group Brainstorm: Brainstorming is often the glue that holds everything together. Therefore, your team members must feel as if they’re connected when they’re working remotely, and throwing around some innovative ideas is a great way to keep everyone on the same page! Stay on task with a messenger service like WhatsApp or Telegram or via regular Skype/MS Team/Zoom calls. You can set up channels, and then brainstorm away in the comments. That way, everyone can respond during their own time and working hours.
- Cultivate Community: When consumers are looking to support a local business, they want to support an actual small business in their community: their neighbours. Take given a Google Review for example of a local business. A new social awareness has come to the forefront in the minds of everyone who’s ever stopped in at the “corner store” for something on the way home. The person giving the referral already has confidence in the business, and the business owner will go above and beyond for their new customer with gratitude. This circle will inevitably lead to a higher level of service and better quality of goods, leading to more referrals and good reviews.