As we traverse the rocky waters of these difficult economic times, one question I have been asking myself is “How well do you know your customers?” After deep introspection, I realised that now is the time for me and for all of us to focus our attention on our customers.
Why is this?
This is a time for resetting and ‘going back to base’. To figure out your deeper values and purpose, then connect with the people you have served diligently to date, but without using sales tactics and promotions to make a ‘quick buck’.
Let me delve into that a bit deeper.
The last few weeks we have seen schools and large and medium businesses close, gatherings stopped, people ordered to stay indoors, and social distancing becoming mandatory wherever we are. We have friends, relatives and colleagues who are hurting as their businesses have had to close ‘indefinitely’ and they suddenly have major, unexpected cash flow issues.
We are all home while home-schooling our kids and ensuring our elderly are looked after and protected.
Compassion, camaraderie, collaboration and kindness are becoming the driving forces of people everywhere we look.
Even random strangers are reaching out to help those less fortunate than themselves because they are driven by a heart-based urge to help their fellow human beings.
It is a time for connection and kindness, genuine connections and unity and that’s a polar opposite from greed, selfishness or commercial advancement and personal gain.
So, how can we maintain the natural empathic feelings of kindness while trying to go out for personal and financial gain? It’s like being at odds with yourself.
Have you noticed these past few weeks how you feel as you scan your Facebook Feed and you see ads for various things? Are you excited to see them? Or are you annoyed by them?
I can tell you that I feel annoyed.
I am not in a place to consider buying things or be swayed by cheesy marketing language.
Am I happy to buy things? Sure – the essentials. I just don’t want to be ‘sold to’. Am I continuing to market my business? Yes – but in a very different way.
I want to be UNDERSTOOD.
This is the time for understanding your customers, reaching out to them, offering to help them and showing them how you can help them.
We are living in this oppressive atmosphere of fear and concern, widespread panic and people are hesitating to make investments and new decisions. Your customers could very quickly leave you and head over to the competition.
If your competitors are out there connecting with your customers and ideal clients in the way that they need and want to be treated, then guess what? You may find that once the market shifts back into an upturn, when they’re ready to buy again, you won’t hear from them.
So, I’ll repeat this vital point; now is the time to understand and connect with your customers and show them that you care and are there for them. It is NOT the time to launch a new product or sales campaign to benefit yourself – unless you have something that they desperately want and need NOW.
What your customers want and need right now is often VERY different to what they wanted and needed a month or two ago, before this economic contraction.
So how do you stay in this place of authentic connection? Keeping your customers happy, without selling to them (in a cheesy way) or losing them to your competitors down the road when they’re ready to buy?
That’s easy. You need to reach out to your customers now. Create a conversation with them, feel genuine enjoyment and be passionate about what you can do to serve them.
The only way you are going to build more rapport now and keep your customers aligned with you is to show them you understand them and find ways to help them and give them education, and something of value.
It’s not just about creating a checklist or an eBook. It is not the time to generate content and then send them an email and hope that lands.
Nope. It is time to reach out directly, in a heartfelt way, and ask them:
“What do you need right now that I can assist with?”
Show them you care and that you are there to support them in this turbulent time. Then understand the source of their pain and issues so you can help them – instead of assuming you know what they want!
This process ensures that you know what they need, you maintain and evolve your relationship, create greater rapport, and find new ways to serve them.
Doing this is going to help you ride these current waves of uncertainty, keep you engaged with your customers and feeling good while you’re helping them.
Most importantly, you’re going to cement the relationship with them for the long haul and ensure they buy from you when they’re ready to.
I hope you can go out and serve them in new ways to serve them further.
To your success,
If you need to speak with an expert on how you can make your business survive amid the crisis, contact us now!