Dr Jana Matthews | 4 min read | How to stay in front of your customers and continue to add value
We’ve seen so much change to the business environment from externalities that are still affecting our customers. The challenge for every CEO is to figure out how to stay in front of your customers and continue adding value to their lives.
Maintain a future focus, but keep your customer front of mind
After you have responded to your company’s warning light, your focus needs to be on your customers, supporting them and staying ”front of mind”. But your customers are part of a larger set of people who have changed their behaviours, for example many people are “staying home” or working from home. With emerging issues like inflation and resultant interest rate rises, people may be more concerned about paying their mortgage than engaging with your company.
My advice is to focus on where you want to be 3-6 months from now. In the interim, try and position your company “front of mind” with your ideal customers. Think what your customer need, want and value and figure out how to deliver it to them. For example, if a key customer segment for you is “older or retired” people, perhaps you can sponsor or get involved with delivering meals on wheels and do some PR around that. If “families” are a key customer segment, maybe you host an on-line family activity where families engage with your company in an interesting way. Sponsor a related segment on a television show or start a Facebook group to have topical discussions with your customers.
Add value to your customers now
Think about what your customers value. For example, if you are in the disrupted travel industry, do they value help planning their next trip? Or do they value an opportunity to relive their memories from prior trips. If the latter, maybe you send an e-mail to all your customers, tell them you are going to host weekly on-line sessions on Zoom for 10 customers at (specific times, and details about how to sign in) that will focus on “memories of Italy, or Paris, or London”, etc. Tell them to invite a friend (who could be a prospective new customer for you).
Your task would be to set up, market, and host a whole series of “sharing our best memories” for groups of 10 customers who went to a particular country. Have them send in their 3-5 favourite photos which you can pop up on Zoom while they tell their stories and reminisce. People who are still cautious of travelling may benefit from reliving past happy experiences that can provide a little “oasis” in their lives. It will remind them of all the fun they had travelling. There’s nothing to stop them from planning their next trip with you – even when they don’t yet have a specific date.
Stay in front of your customers
You can apply this process to your own company’s products or services. Keep building your brand with your current and new customers. Create “stickiness” so they remember you when life gets back to their “new normal”.