As the global crisis carries on, we continue to discuss all the ways in which change is upon us. From personal to professional circumstances, people of all industries and professions are experiencing challenges. It’s important that we all stay as nimble as possible, so we can adapt to the new normal.
While some professions and industries have been impacted more than others, the overall workforce now looks a little differently right now. And, it’s up to businesses to address their customers appropriately—no matter what space.
Over the past decade or so, the accounting and finance function has become more involved in overall business operations, including strategy. As businesses evolve due to COVID, it’s important for everyone in the company to know how to engage the customer.
I came across an article on Forbes that discusses tips for businesses during these trying times. Read on for my 5 Ways to Engage Your Customers Amidst a New Normal below.
- Expand digital offerings
Going digital isn’t just an option, it’s a necessity. Many businesses are switching to a hybrid workforce, talking to customers virtually over zoom, meeting with clients over the phone or video, and offering purchasing options on websites. Many customers are avoiding in-person interactions, and as more companies adjust to a more virtual presence, the more likely it is to remain that way for the short and even long term.
- Make special considerations
When the economy and market change, your business has to change or you risk losing revenue, people and resources. If there are ways that you can accommodate individuals in need, especially, customers and clients who have been repeat buyers, you should do so. Whether that’s adjusting price, hours, deliveries or other perks, now is the time to look at what areas you can leverage to put the customer first in some way, is crucial. When times level out, the customer will remember when you went above and beyond for them.
- Connect emotionally
Now more than ever, people and businesses need to show empathy and compassion for those around them. This includes their customer base, both internally and externally. Communicating to all your customers on the ways that you’re ensuring their health and safety within your business is key. You never know what vulnerabilities people are dealing with at home and in their personal life, so commitment to abiding by guidelines and regulations will go a long way. You can even survey your customers and ask them how they’re dealing with the current crisis. This will show them that you’re interested in their thoughts and feelings, as well as give you a good pulse on their intentions as a customer with your business.
- Recognize financial restraints
As unemployment numbers remain high and businesses are having to reduce or cut pay and benefits, more individuals are finding themselves under financial restraint. Businesses looking long-term at their customer base need to be creative in the ways they can accommodate those individuals. By waiving fees, delaying payments or giving discounts wherever possible, any little help to the customer or client that will allow them some breathing room when paying for your services will likely have you stand out—and keep them coming back.
- Leverage innovation
If you were contemplating adding new lines of business or changing up your offerings in some way, now might be the perfect time to implement those ideas. Reach out to your current and potential customers directly to show them that your company can do even more. Whether you’re expanding to different areas, launching new products or services, entering a new industry, or offering something entirely different, go for it and let your customers in on the changes. Your efforts and ambition as a firm can go a long way and can show your customers that you aren’t afraid of these changes happening. You never know what will pique their interest.
What are some other ways your engaging your customers during these unique times? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.