The most important action on any business owner’s list right now – and perhaps for more than a year or longer to come – is strengthening ties with your existing clients.
Although this action is not anything new, concerns and even fears over the current pandemic will prevent a certain percentage of your clients to postpone or even forego the services and/or products you offer. What can you be doing RIGHT NOW to ease these concerns yet not dismiss these same concerns?
1. Contact your clients individually. If you personally received a call from someone you do business with over how you were doing, how did that make you feel? That’s my point.
2. If unable to contact clients individually, what are other ways you can connect with them?
a. Email: Although most businesses often see an “open” rate of about a third of the emails they send out, at least you’re reaching some of your clients. Use words in your subject line that would encourage YOU to open the email. When writing the email, write in the first person, be personable, and get to the point(s).
b. Video: Make a short video and posting it on YouTube, your website, or even sending it out in an email can get great results. It doesn’t have to be fancy or professional. In fact, your clients seeing your face and hearing your voice will be reassuring enough. Pick up that smartphone and start recording! You can do it!
c. “Snail mail”: Yes, sending out written letters is a good option but obviously pricier and more time-consuming. Nevertheless, keeping those clients may be worth the price tag to you, and they will probably open your letter, especially if it is hand-addressed. Follow the same guidelines as if writing an email. Writing more than one page will cause you to lose most people.
d. Others? Just because I listed the top three doesn’t mean you can’t be creative and come up with others! Try out other ways to connect; it’ll be worth your while.
In addition, take care of your team/staff/employees! Losing a single employee can have far-reaching effects on your bottom line. It’s not as simple as just hiring someone new if you lose someone. Hiring, training, and integrating a new employee is costly. Estimates range from a low of $7,500 to over $40,000 negative impact to your bottom line. Make SURE you are protecting them, addressing their concerns, maintaining a healthy relationship with them, and more.
Lastly, budget for worst-case scenarios, medium-case scenarios, and best-case scenarios. Why? No one knows what will happen next, and it’s best to be prepared! We can’t expect that the government can bail anyone out again, so it’s my opinion you plan to be able to take care of yourself when disaster strikes again. Further – I’m not an epidemiologist, so take this with a grain of salt – there will be at least one more serious wave to this pandemic, maybe more.
What can you do NOW so that when the next disaster happens you are ready?