It may be premature and alarmist to speak of an impending financial crisis, but when the markets, including financial, economic and trading situations, are as uncertain as they have been since the start of 2016 businesses may be wise to rein in their growth ambitions for a while and focus, among other things, on customer care.
It is easy to forget that your customers are human beings and to win their loyalty they need to feel valued, appreciated and treated with respect. How often and for what purpose, for instance, do you communicate with clients or customers?
Rather than only communicating with them when the underlying reason, however tactfully put, is to make a sale or meet a target, it is worth engaging in regular conversation or exchanging ideas or just asking after their wellbeing.
Talking to customers can generate new ideas
Asking for feedback or carrying out a customer satisfaction survey can be useful not only to retain customer loyalty but also to enable a business to plan ahead for when conditions are more favourable for investing in growth, new products and services.
It may be that the solutions they need to their problems have changed and a simple letter or conversation can not only improve customer satisfaction and retention but also provide a business with valuable information that will enable it to provide a better, or excellent, service.
Equally, an inquiry will convey that your business cares about them and their concerns, will listen to them, and is committed to providing the best service that it can.
Having started a dialogue it is also important to respond. Let them know what you have learned and perhaps invite them to make further comments.
Essentially when business conditions are difficult or uncertain there is still a great deal a business can do, not only to protect itself and retain loyal customers but also to develop new ideas for the future.