All roads lead to a great customer experience
Mat Wylie shares advice on how you can recession-proof your business by focusing on your customers. Right now, with high interest rates and less cash to go around, business owners are rightly thinking about money. The main thought on your mind is probably ‘How do we keep the cash flowing?’ The answer, perhaps obviously, lies […]
Mat Wylie shares advice on how you can recession-proof your business by focusing on your customers.
Right now, with high interest rates and less cash to go around, business owners are rightly thinking about money. The main thought on your mind is probably ‘How do we keep the cash flowing?’
The answer, perhaps obviously, lies with your customers. While there are other moves you can take (such as cutting costs or offering fewer services), the best long-term strategies are those that grow your sales and revenue long term.
Here’s how you can recession-proof your business by focusing on your customers.
Focus on experience
Customer satisfaction is one of the top indicators for sales growth. Recent stats on one of our retail clients operating across three Australian states were very clear: the stores with Net Promoter Scores below 50 (out of -100 to +100) saw sales and customer growth drop by double-digit negatives; the stores that had NPS above 70 saw sales and customer growth up to five percent, even in a recessionary environment, while other businesses were losing traffic at a huge rate of knots.
Build loyalty now
Loyal customers are the most valuable customers by some margin. So, if you want to build a bank of loyal customers, then think long term. Make sure your team knows your products and services inside out, and are building welcoming relationships with customers.
It costs up to 25 times more to get a new customer than to retain an existing one, and retaining only five more of your customers is enough to boost your profits by up to 95 percent. That kind of gain is hard to turn away from, especially in a downturn.
Let your best customers lead
Your most loyal customers can tell you a lot about where you can take your business.
If you have an existing loyalty programme or database of customers, then you should be tracking the results of that network. Take a look at your most loyal customers, and the ones who spend the most. They’ll tell you what they like and what they don’t like – and then you can use that to convert other customers into more committed spenders.
Take over the market
I’ve seen a few recessions, and the businesses that have doubled down on their marketing have captured more clients than those who shied away from their customers.
You can probably negotiate good ad rates right now, and while that’s going to get more people to your door, getting them back is your real interest. Your marketing budget this year should include the ability to measure and manage the results of your efforts. Because if you don’t understand what keeps your customers coming back – or turns them away – then all the ad budget in the world won’t help your business with long-term results.
Test and measure
Improvement is a process. You need to have the systems in place to communicate with your customers – not just the usual social media channels or an email blast, but compassionate connections that show you’re open to improving your operations.
That’s why the other half of good marketing is in measuring the experience of each customer, and being able to react to both good and bad feedback. If someone doesn’t have a great experience, how would you rather find out? Via a Google review, because of dwindling traffic, or after purchase and in a way that means you can make it right?
Celebrate your impact
When you get great feedback from a customer, that’s a motivational and inspirational resource for your team to keep their standards up. And if it’s constructive feedback, then you’ve got a teaching moment to help everyone level up.
How and where do you get more money to work with? Simple. Your customers.
Mat Wylie is CEO of Customer Radar.