The ongoing pandemic has damaged and disrupted almost every industry and left businesses struggling to stay afloat. Now that 2021 is here, a post-pandemic economy is taking shape, and with it comes the challenge of protecting and expanding your client base.
Because of the pandemic, the subsequent market changes and shifting consumer habits, businesses have had to rethink their entire strategies or face closure.
In this post, we’ll be discussing the five things you should do to fortify your customer base and keep your business alive and well in 2021.
Strengthen your relationships with existing clients
Your clients keep your business alive and well. Reaching new audiences is crucial for your business, but not at the cost of neglecting your relationships with current clients.
Since all healthy relationships require genuine effort to make things better, re-establishing open and honest communication is a great place to start. There are three habits that you can adopt that will improve communication with your clients:
- Be responsive to your client’s emails and calls
- Don’t forget to check in with your customers and see how they are doing
- Ask for feedback as often as you can
This sends a message that your clients’ opinions are valued and can count on your support in the turbulent pandemic economy.
By being consistent and effective in communication and showing appreciation for your customer’s feedback, you’re nurturing a relationship that’s built to last.
Reward loyal clients
Healthy and straightforward communication is just one aspect of a strong client relationship – customer loyalty should also be rewarded, especially in a heavily disrupted and unpredictable economy.
You should demonstrate client appreciation through your actions, time and time again.
There’s a handful of ways you can reward your loyal clients:
- Create a loyalty program
- Surprise your customers with free items, services and meaningful discounts
- Offer a special level of service just for them, e.g., out-of-hours service or waiving shipping costs for an order
- Reward your client’s referrals with gifts for introducing new customers to your business
Therefore, rewarding loyal clients displays genuine appreciation and commitment to a lasting relationship.
Improve customer service
Customer service is the cornerstone of the relationship you have with your clients.
Having effective customer service shows you’re there for your clients when they’re experiencing difficulties or frustrations with your service or product.
The way you approach your customer service operations will profoundly impact customer loyalty and retention of your brand. This means that improving customer service should always be your priority.
Besides having qualified employees with the skills and expertise, consider making your customer support available 24/7 and easily accessible.
One of the trendiest solutions to achieve that is creating a customer support app that lets your clients communicate with your support team, resolve any issues and get all the information they need about your business.
Many users have gotten used to doing business online or through their smartphones. This newly discovered convenience will remain relevant well after the pandemic has subsided.
That’s why it’s important to consider the big picture, new user habits and current trends in usage and development if you decide to build an app to support your clients.
The pandemic has irreversibly increased the use of online solutions and apps. Staying on top of these trends will ensure that you don’t lag behind and exceed your client’s expectations at every step of the way.
Build a strong online reputation
Having a strong online reputation helps your business reach new potential customers and establish itself as an industry leader.
With the after-effects of the pandemic, entire businesses rely on their online presence to secure sales and stay in the game. This means that building an impactful reputation online is no longer optional. There’s a handful of online practices you should follow to start growing your reputation online:
- Maintain a presence on social media outlets
- Reply on comments and repost mentions
- Post content that matches your audience
- Design a user-friendly, visually stunning website
- Develop a social media strategy
Once you’ve developed a reputation online, your customer interactions will improve, and you’ll be able to enhance your sales strategy. Additionally, your relationship and communication will flourish.
Support your local community
The pandemic has devastated communities worldwide, so yours is probably suffering as well. Showing support for your local community can open new opportunities and relationships that will strengthen your business.
Since you’re also operating with limited resources, it can be hard to think of how you can contribute. Here are some ideas you should consider:
- Make a list of local non-profits that provide community aid, contact them and see how you can be of assistance
- Donate old tablets, laptops and PCs you no longer use to nursing homes, schools or your local non-profit organizations
- Mentor young people to teach them new skills and help them find employment
- Create partnerships with other local businesses for collaboration and mutual gain
In times like these, it’s critical to support your local community and help as much as you can.
Most challenges of 2020 will undoubtedly continue to disrupt businesses in the new year. Your clients will look to you for reassurance that they can safely continue to do business with you.
How you respond to their needs in difficult times will set the foundation for relationships that will last beyond the challenges you and your clients are facing now.
To keep your business afloat, use this time to strengthen your relationships with your clients, adopt new solutions to improve your service and support your community.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Ashley Wilson. Wilson is a content creator, writing about business and tech. You can get in touch with Ashley via Twitter.