This challenging time in history is unique because we are all affected, one way or another—including your customers.
Although you may be frustrated with changing capacity requirements, shutdowns, and staffing difficulties, supply chain interruptions, remember that your customers are also dealing with their own set of complications. Whether they have children at home all day, are coping with illness, work from home, lost income, or simply can’t get products or services like they used to, they’re trying to navigate this new normal, too.
We’re all going through this together.
And as a business providing value and support to its customers, it’s critical to remember that people are coming to you for a solution, not for more struggle.
So don’t make doing business with you harder than it needs to be. Do just the opposite. Celebrate! (Yes, you read that right!)
In this post, you’ll learn why it’s important to celebrate your customers during challenging and changing times and how to do it in a way that supports your clients and keeps them coming back with a smile.
Considering the times, it may seem counterintuitive to celebrate. But hear me out. See, prolonged stress is still at elevated levels around the world. At every turn, your customers are hearing Covid death rates, updated mandates, and how the pandemic is uprooting the life they once knew.
There’s clearly a lot going on.
Despite this, your customers are taking the time to come to you. Whether it’s your website or your storefront, they’re passing up your competitors and choosing your business because they’ve determined that you have the best solution to their problem.
There’s plenty to celebrate here! Let’s break it down:
- They’ve identified a solution to their problem (win);
- They see the value of what you have to offer (win);
- You have a customer (a win); and
- They get what they need (another win)!
How to Celebrate Your Customers
Celebrate your customers by making them feel welcomed and appreciated. Your team should be happy and eager to help, and the energy inside your business should be bright and positive. After all, your customers are the reason why your business exists. No customers, no business!
Something I’ve seen all too often during the pandemic is the exact opposite, where customers walk in the door to frazzled and stressed employees that barely acknowledge their presence.
This doesn’t make customers feel valued, and it sure doesn’t make them feel like coming back.
I used to frequently visit a sushi restaurant in my neighborhood. I loved the food, but what kept me coming back was the fact that the employees made me feel special and would greet me by name. There was always a warm welcome when I walked through the door; I appreciated their hospitality and felt appreciated in return.
Since the pandemic, they’ve become more focused on transactions.
No more, “Hi, Patti!”
No more engagement, no more chit-chat.
Just a receipt set in front of me while they shove my to-go bag across the counter.
Might as well say, “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out!”
I know times are tough, but had they kept their relationship-based approach and even turned it up a notch, I’m confident they wouldn’t have lost as many customers as they did through the pandemic.
On the other hand, a Thai restaurant in town has totally upped their game. The team is all smiles, they go above and beyond, and they’re on all the delivery services.
They’re making a point to ensure doing business with them is easy and pleasant.
No doubt the Thai restaurant and its employees also have their fair share of challenges behind-the-scenes. But those challenges and complaints are left at the door because they aren’t the customers’ problem.
This is customer celebration at its finest.
It’s also important to stay in regular communication with your customers. Remember, they’re adjusting to all the changes, too, and won’t automatically know how your business is affected. If you need to update hours or capacity or delivery times, communicate, communicate, COMMUNICATE! And even then, don’t expect every customer to know how you’re operating. For example, if you have to share your updated hours over and over again, make every interaction as friendly and warm as the first.
Leverage social media, email, and other forms of communication, and train your employees to answer questions with a positive attitude—every single time.
The fact is, if people can’t do business with you how they’re used to, you need to help them even more. Make recommendations, put yourself in their shoes, and support an effective buying decision that makes them feel celebrated.
In summary, to celebrate your customers during challenging times, make sure you:
- Make them feel welcomed and appreciated;
- Ensure business with you is easy and pleasant;
- Leave your problems and complaints at the door;
- Stay in regular communication with your customers;
- Always communicate changes and updates with a positive attitude; and
- Be extra-helpful.
During challenging times, celebrating your customers is just one piece of the puzzle. Click here to join our email list (we carefully guard it and never abuse) and receive your free copy of the Never Waste a Crisis ebook to learn more.