We know very well that after the Grand Depression in the 1930’s, we are in one of the most demanding times for industry. Unemployment rates dramatically increase and every day companies go bankrupt. If we are in such circumstances, we need to look closely at our company and look for ways in which our sales and our cash flow really can be maximised.
In this article I will go through 4 key points, I agree – that they are crucial areas for businesses at any time – to focus in times such as these. Hold on these fields, and you’ll be able to survive in difficult times and thrive in good times as much as possible.
Your staff and clients need and deserve to hear reassuring messages and to see you behave positively and firmly in the way that you interact internally and externally. It’s all too easy, both internally and for your customers, to slip into some form of paralysis in times of difficulty. ……….none !!
In emergencies it is absolutely critical that the internal and external customers have a decisive contact plan. Your staff may be concerned about their employment and futures, and your silence will do little to overcome their fears. If they are concerned, rumours will begin and efficiency will go down before you know, and the strongest will begin to search for safety and reassurance somewhere that they want.
The details that your consumers get – if not from you is from the media and the rumoured mill, and all too often you’ll be lumped into the confidence and credibility that you have built up for years before you know, because they have nothing else to convince them.
Worse than no contact, bad communication is such that you communicate as early as possible, often and as clearly as possible. Don’t be tempted by cutting your contact to save some money – this is a false economy. There are several inefficient ways to connect with the employees and clients that don’t have to be costly to communicate today. Look at online media like Intranets, Blogs and Ezines, or for employees, speak to them directly and work together to create ideas that will strengthen and strengthen your company. Now is not the time to keep them in the dark and alone.
One key rule is that going out to find a new customer is far more costly than keeping a current customer. Challenge yourself and ask what you’re doing to keep your loyal client satisfied and happy instead of forgetting to concentrate only on new customers. I’m not saying that you’re not looking for new clients, I’m not saying that while looking for new ones, you don’t lose your current customers.
Your loyal customers already have a strong relationship with you and what you do, and will possibly be much easier to meet than new customers. Check for ways to get sales through and even find exclusive deals and discounts. Have you developed a systematic approach to dealing with customers after placing an order or selling? Make retention of customers a main business platform. How nice is your service to your customers? Find out – and easily, if you don’t know. In my opinion, the quality of customer service is one of companies’ greatest differentiators. Unfortunately, today, almost every type of customer service is not so difficult to distinguischy positively. My experience with many companies and organisations is that client service is generally quite bad and surprising too often. The implementation of policies and procedures that provide top-quality customer support does not cost much. Confide in me, if you do, you will notice your customers and they will be back to buy more.
Who are your most important clients? Again, many companies don’t realise and invest a lot of time, resources and effort on consumers who don’t add much to the fund. When you know which customers are the most important, concentrate on them, if possible, remove the least valuable. The Pareto principle applies in more or less the same way to almost every industry which I know – why spend time, resources, and effort on those customers of low benefit when you can channel the effort and investment into the most rentable.
Don’t avoid marketing expenditure. Yeah, look at the marketing costs and what you get back and look for different ways to do things differently if it is not feasible. Again, you can market efficiently with current technologies and methods without costing the world. Often it takes a little more time to assess what you do and where you concentrate your efforts.
Did your client base truly segment?? Do you know who your target clients are and who will reach them most efficiently? If your target segment is 18-25 years old, it is probably not the most successful way to enter the market for full-page Daily Telegraph services. Don’t get seduced by the hype of social media, start Twittering blindly, spend all your time on Facebook and Bebo, yes they can be successful, but don’t just follow the bandwagon for everyone, if you have done your homework. Once you know who you’re targeting and the way this community collects or decides on purchasing, you’ll go down the path.
There must not be a costly successful marketing campaign, but preparation and coherence of action are important.
Training is one of the first fields that corporations frequently eliminate. The reason for this, I for one, cannot understand. If you look in other places, including sport, if things get harder and harder, you’re not likely to see people say, you could not bother practising, because things are harder and competition harder than last year. You’re not sure how to get involved.
Short-sighted businesses reduce their preparation, but this time the smart businesses see themselves as being the opportunity to become more competitive and knowledgeable to withstand the downturn and profit from the unavoidable upturn. As the other places, challenge yourself if you do the right stuff and get a decent return for your money from the training you do – but do not cut back on your time for training. When your employees are well educated and successful, they will not only become more driven and trusted by their job security, but also gain more money from your loyal customers and keep them a little better than the next person.