As coronavirus spreads globally, most businesses are seeing a massive downturn in revenue. During this time it is critical that businesses retain their customers during this recession. Those that do retain customers, adjust quickly to changing conditions, and leverage assistance of government resources, will make it through.

This articles provides strategies for retaining customers during the downturn in demand.

My recommended strategy for retaining customers is to get ahead of the situation by building customer relationships and adding value ahead of a retention problem.

Build Relationships To Retain Customers

The best way to retain customers, at any point in the economic cycle, is to build strong personal relationships with them. We use this heavily at AssetLab. Here are some ideas for building relationships to retain customers.

  • Call clients and customers and have a conversation about their situation and help them get the most from their product or service
  • Start sharing personal and brand stories on social media
  • Send a monthly newsletter about your product or service: providing expert tips, advice, and strategies for getting more from what they purchased
  • Start sharing team member stories

Add Value To Retain Customers

The easiest way to retain the customers you have is to be proactive with the value proposition the business offers. Here are 6 ideas to consider:

  • Add a bonus product or service at the same price point
  • Provide free training resources
  • Improve customer service
  • Improve quality
  • Create an email or social media sequence to help customers get the most from their purchase
  • Take a social responsbility action (for example, AssetLab Marketing is Climate Positive)

Create Loyalty To Reward Customers

Related to building relationships and adding value is creating loyalty programs to reward the best clients and customers. Here are some ideas:

  • Offer a discount based on the amount of time a client has been active
  • Offer a discount based on the number of past orders
  • Add additional services at no charge based on loyalty
  • Provide coupons or discounts on new purchases for loyal customers

Price Drops To Retain Customers

For most businesses, adjusting price is a bad idea. Services and products are priced so that a level of quality, customer satisfaction, and profit can be achieved.  If a loyal customer calls to ask for a price reduction it is critical to understand their situation so that you can understand how to approach a change. These recommendations are based on the position that price changes should be avoided.

  • Offer to add service and maintain price
  • Offer a discount for a set amount of time
  • Offer a partial billing deferral so that a client can manage cashflow and catch up (This is essentially offering credit to the customer)
  • Offer a full billing deferral for a certain amount of time (You’re essentially offering store credit)
  • Offer a one-time discount
  • Ask for them to refer a client and provide a service discount based on the value of the referral

Customer retention is critical during a downturn. Get ahead of the situation by building relationships and adding value before needing to address individual customers that ask for price changes.

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