It’s tough to retain clients during a crisis, but these three customer retention strategies can help save your business!
In times of crisis, businesses often experience financial instability and the subsequent loss of customers. Simply focusing on scaling up or driving growth isn’t enough during such times. To ride out the storm, businesses must reevaluate their customer acquisition strategies to offer a positive client experience and retain loyal customers.
Companies that fail to adapt with these changes and make the required adjustments are likely to fall behind and lose out on customers.
In this article, we’ll discuss the top three strategies for customer retention that can help your business navigate uncertain times.
1. Keep your website and social media accounts up to date
To win customers’ confidence during a crisis, you must demonstrate preparedness to adapt to their shifting needs. And the first step is making relevant changes to your business website and social media handles so that customers remain updated at all times.
Here are some steps you can follow:
- Create a crisis-specific landing page that’s redirected to your main website. Update this page with the latest information about your business. Revised business hours, limited customer support availability, new launches, inventory changes, shipping delays, process changes—anything that impacts business operations and customers, communicate it via the landing page.
- Update the frequently asked questions (FAQs) section to address concerns and questions related to the crisis. Set up a cadence to update the FAQs every couple of weeks so that they are timely, relevant, and respond to customers’ most recent queries.
- Use your social media accounts to communicate crisis-specific information. Share regular updates with customers to keep them informed of all strategic and operational changes you’re implementing. Regular, consistent, and relevant social media communication can help generate positive sentiment among customers, thereby boosting brand loyalty.
2. Revisit your communication strategy
During a crisis, you can’t continue communicating with your audience the same way you did before the crisis. You must adjust your messaging, the way you communicate, and how much or little you communicate to be in line with changing customer expectations.
Here’s what you can do:
- Focus on delivering value beyond products and services. Use multiple communication channels—emails, text messages, and social media—to inform customers about any community support initiatives, such as fundraisers or charity drives, you’re undertaking during the crisis. Such positive messaging will strengthen your brand positioning and increase loyalty. Customers will perceive your brand as one that cares about its community and will want to continue their existing relationship with your business.
- Brainstorm with your team to come up with blog post ideas that provide solutions to the pain points faced by customers. Set up a resource center with detailed answers to crisis-related queries. You can also organize free webinars, podcasts, tutorials, online events, etc. These initiatives will keep your customer community engaged and increase the chances of repeat business.
- Adopt a customer-focused tone of communication and remain empathetic. Avoid generalizing concerns. Consider each customer query to be unique, and give equal undivided attention to all cases. However, avoid overcommunication and panicky or negative messaging that can raise doubts or confusion among customers.
3. Give your customer loyalty and rewards program a makeover
Remodel your loyalty and rewards program to increase the chances of retaining customers. However, don’t let it strain your budget. Aim to revamp your existing customer loyalty program without driving up expenses.
Here’s how you can achieve this:
- Leverage social media listening to identify customers who have achieved positive business outcomes during the crisis. Connect with them for customer advocacy initiatives. You can also create a community of customer advocates to review the new products and services you’ve launched during the crisis. These steps will help increase brand visibility without putting much pressure on your budget.
- Offer discounts and rebates for timely payments, contract renewals, and repurchases during the crisis. These rewards may offer only a little financial relief to your customers, but they’ll position your brand as one that cares about its clients.
- Make it easier for customers to redeem rewards. Amend the terms and conditions of your loyalty program if you have to. For instance, you can extend the shelf life of reward points so that customers have more time to redeem them.
While reevaluating your customer retention program during a crisis, consider the following:
- Focus on understanding your customers’ needs rather than trying to gain a competitive edge. Offer reliable support channels and make customer satisfaction a priority if you wish to strengthen your existing customer relationship.
- Implement self-service channels and simple processes to ensure higher client retention. Gartner confirms that customer loyalty depends on how easy companies make it for their customers to do business with them.
- Inform your customers regularly about the new capabilities and processes you’ve established to address their concerns. Customers are more likely to remain loyal to your brand when they know you’re unwilling to compromise on service quality.