Customer Relationships Need Attention Even in this Pandemic
Restricted shopping, travel and access have severely disrupted your business, it severely disrupted your customers too. As you have been forced to adapt to the impact of the pandemic so have your customers. Under this tumultuous condition the relationship you have with your customers and vice versa can deteriorate. There is a business term called a stranded asset. It refers to an asset that is no longer utilized and/or productive. To be sure, your customer data is an asset that, during the pandemic, may not be utilized or productive. The question is what if anything can be done about it?
The old cliché the devil is in the details is true in this situation. The first task is to categorize your customers: do they:
- How do they buy? (walk-in, online, telephone)
- What does my business know about their buying? (regular, seasonal, sporadic, one and done)
- Do I know who they are?
- Do I know who buys what?
- Is here away to contact them?
This information is not just data; it’s a relationship. Frankly, it’s represents the lifeblood of your business. It is vital to take whatever steps possible to ensure this relationship survives until the restrictions are lifted. People adapt, their buying choices, methods and locations have changed. Will they return to your business or will they buy differently? What can be done to encourage the former and mitigate the latter? The short answer is to reach out and engage with them.
It’s a safe bet that your customers are not any happier about this situation than businesses. Having to forgo easily acquiring the goods, services and just normal human interaction is not on anybody’s buck list. No longer able to do business with people they know and trust or having to do business with sources that are not local is an adaptation not a preference.
Consider contacting all the customers you can by phone or email and inform them of ways they can still do business with you. Perhaps they cannot get the product they purchased from you in the same size or amount. Let them know that you can get their desired/favorite products to them. There is no familiar face or voice in online or remote shopping. Finally ask yourself if there is a downside to reaching out, offering a solution to your customers that are also impacted by this pandemic. Remember it seems like every day there are additional barriers to what we all took for granted. Providing a solution or just being a voice that isn’t part of the problem can help sustain a relationship that’s vital to businesses and their customers. The pandemic will pass into history don’t let your customers too.
Written by Blog Contributor: Brad Lena