At the onset of a recession, in hopes of controlling operation costs during leaner economic times, quitting or slashing marketing budgets often is one of the first decisions by business owners. But, abandoning marketing efforts altogether could be detrimental.
A better alternative? Look for cost-effective ways to maintain visibility, like opportunities to build loyalty and trust with the customers you already serve. A recession is an opportune time to build customer loyalty and gain new leads. Why? Because during a recession, client experience matters more than ever.
- Reestablish the value of your customer. Take time to understand the lifetime value of each customer, i.e., the entire relationship they have with your business. Each step in your operations should be completed with this lifetime value in mind, and make sure everyone on your team is aware of the value. Most often, lifetime value continues after a transaction, especially if you exceed expectations and customers become loyal referrers of your business.
- Create better, more efficient practices. Where can you automate tasks? How can you lighten your team’s daily workload? Incorporating the use of apps and other tech platforms can help create seamless processes that make client experiences easier and your team’s job less stressful. Less time spent on specific tasks means your team can focus more time and attention on customers. That’s a win-win.
- Build loyalty through the improvement of service. How can your organization create better experiences? It could be the extra touch of a handwritten thank-you note. Or, making eye contact and thanking someone for their business in-person. The beauty of building customer loyalty through the improvement of service is that it’s often highly cost-effective; it just takes a commitment of your time. The result, however, could be a lifelong customer. According to PwC Research, 80% of customers are willing to pay more for a better customer experience.
- Concentrate on customer spending habits. Look for data on customer spending in your industry, and use it to determine what your business can offer customers to give them peace of mind. How do you ease their discomfort and pain? And how can you adjust your marketing and customer service strategies to better suit their needs? By answering these questions, you’ll be better positioned to think strategically about how to provide better experiences and strengthen client trust.
– Ashley Velez is a digital marketing strategist, freelance writer and company culture advocate. She’s a proud resident of Woodstock, where she lives with her family.