Learn four strategies that can help you retain your customers, and even onboard new ones, during disruptive times.
COVID-19 has turned the world upside down for small business owners. You, like many others, have probably had to deal with cutting costs, laying off employees, and securing funding for your business.
And while crisis management is important, it’s equally important to think ahead and focus on retaining your customers. The major changes in the market have altered the purchasing habits of your customers, and you need to adapt fast.
We’ve put together four customer retention strategies that will help you retain your customers. To help you persevere in the new economic climate.
Increase Your Online Presence
Your customers are probably spending more time at home than ever, which also means more time online. This provides a great opportunity to create additional interest around your products or services, which can be achieved in multiple ways.
First, you should stay connected with your customers in a more casual way through Facebook and Instagram. Think outside the box and experiment. You can stream anything related to your business, from a Q&A to a launch party or a product tutorial. This type of content can help customers stay engaged with your small business while also providing some much-needed entertainment.
Social media platforms can also help create a sales channel to replace the one you may have lost in the physical world. You can add links to your products or services directly in the videos and photos you post to make it easier for customers to make a purchase.
Rethink Your Content Marketing Strategy
Content marketing is all about creating sales leads by publishing valuable content for your target audience. Regardless of where they are in their buying journey. However, the coronavirus has drastically changed the needs of your customers as well as their buying journey. This means that you also need to adjust the content you’re publishing.
For example, if you run a small consulting company within the legal or personal finance space, your customers are probably looking for information about unemployment benefits, employee rights, and budgets, rather than investment advice and help with real estate documents. This gives you an opportunity to build a thought leadership position, both with your existing clients and prospects.
Enable Easy Payments
To ensure payment continuity, small businesses should focus on offering as many online payment options as possible.
These days, cash payments can easily be replaced with credit card payments. Not only does using a credit card make it easier for customers to pay you from the comfort of their homes, it may also be a preferred payment method for those whose financial situation has changed.
Payment platforms like FINSYNC make it easy to accept a variety of payment types, including ACH and credit cards (even if you don’t have an existing merchant account).
You can also convert paper checks into online payments by acquiring a lockbox. This way you won’t have to deposit the checks in person, and you can still do business with customers who can’t pay any other way.
Communicate Frequently With Your Clients
Prioritize keeping your customers in the loop about how COVID-19 is affecting your business. This is different than any social media content you may post, and will likely be a more serious and straightforward communication.
Perhaps your small business can start a newsletter. Or maybe you add a new landing page to your website where clients can go to be updated on the most important information. But if your products and services are especially useful during the COVID-19 situation, you can take it a step further.
How about hosting a webinar where you demonstrate how your products and services can be helpful? Or follow up with customers by phone or email to see how they’re handling the situation? It’s also a good idea to put extra effort into customer service, such as video instructions, how-to pages, detailed FAQs, etc.
There’s a balance to be struck between necessary and redundant information. If you succeed, you may kill two birds with one stone; you can retain customers right now, but you may also gain new ones once the crisis is over. After all, word of mouth is powerful, and we all know that happy clients are some of the best salespeople a small business can have.
Maintain a Customer-Centric View
Now more than ever, it’s important to focus on your customers. Recognize that the purchasing journey — from why customers buy your product to how they pay for it — has changed and you need to adapt accordingly.
To retain customers, and even gain new ones, make sure that your small business is providing valuable information during this time of uncertainty. Go back to the core of your business and ask yourself what kind of problems your customers are dealing with right now.
Focus on how your products or service can make this period easier for your clients. And, of course, make it easier for them to pay for those services with online payment options.
Your customers and your business are likely to face tough times. How you handle the current disruption can define whether you’re able to retain and grow your customer base.