How has COVID-19 affected your customers?
COVID-19 may have significantly changed customer priorities, buying patterns and distribution channel preferences.
No matter how quickly your business adapts to COVID-19, your reboot is only as good as the sales it generates.
Why it matters
All eyes will be on your sales and revenue. Investors, suppliers, customers and employees see revenue as an early indicator of a company’s ability to rebound.
How can you jump-start sales to get back in the game and find a path to long-term growth?
Contact your customers
Some customers may be waiting to hear from you before resuming business. One-on-one conversations may be the best way to get feedback on their needs and the status of their businesses. Direct contact—phone, email, text—lets them know you’re ready for their business.
Embrace remote selling tools
Video conferencing keeps you connected with customers, suppliers, partners and staff. Virtual sales can keep you pitching business and selling even if you can’t meet in person.
Set up a video conference with customers to discuss how you’re adapting to changing needs, and ask for input. Including some of your staff and salespeople in the call will help everyone understand what’s expected of you.
Make sure customers can find you
Use every form of digital marketing you can—regular emails, texts, updates to your web site and social media messages—to let customers know how you’re adjusting to serve them. Every method of communication should provide an easy way for customers to reply and buy.
People stressed by the pandemic are anxious about the future. Extra handholding, encouragement and service can go a long way toward strengthening business relationships.
Identify additional distribution channels
Look at all your options, including those once deemed too expensive or complicated. Even less profitable channels can boost sales and contribute needed funds to your cash flow.
Be flexible on pricing
Everyone has been hit hard, and the value of what you deliver along with your customer’s ability to pay may have shifted. Being more flexible on pricing during the economic recovery builds both sales and customer loyalty.
Electronic transfers like PayPal can make payment easy and contactless. Make sure you’re using all the features of your merchant services to accept credit cards and offer the easiest and most flexible payment options.
Study your competitors
This includes comparable businesses in other industries. How are they responding to the crisis? What are they doing well? Watch for how to avoid their failures. Look for changes in the competitive landscape.