Disasters can impact your business at any time. Normally, a man-made or natural disaster isn’t ONLY impacting you. It’s impacting everyone in a particular area, or globally if we look at viruses like COVID-19. As the public reacts to disaster, the economy often turns south. Creating a disaster plan for your company can truly make a difference when the going gets tough.
This article is not about COVID-19, but rather, tips and tactics that will help you stay ahead of a down economy.
1. Keep Track of Leads
Are you using a CRM, or any other method/computer software to track your customer data and incoming leads? In a down economy when you need to increase sales or find other sources of revenue, a system or method to stay on top of leads and opportunities is critical.
An emergency is not the time to let new customers fall through the cracks. There are many ways you can begin implementing lead tracking practices. Check out this link for more ideas: how-to-use-marketing-automation-for-lead-gen
2. Customer Safeguards
When there’s a crisis, your customers are in just as much of a bind as you. Flexibility and trust are the keys to success. Disaster plans, like any other part of your business, should include strategies for customer management.
Uncertainty in the marketplace can put people on edge. It can be a difficult conversation to have, but if you can put your customers on contracts, it will benefit your company. That said, don’t force issues that will cost you long-term relationships or business. What matters most is maintaining a strong connection with your customers and regular communication regarding their needs/solutions.
Something to consider is initiating conversations with your clients about the recent coronavirus outbreak. Ask them if their budgets, marketing strategies, or businesses have been affected. Creating an open line of communication can help you plan for change in real-time, as budgets change.
Another idea is sending surveys to your customers. There are many online survey websites that you can use to communicate with your customers. Ask them what they need help with, how (insert current disaster/emergency) has affected their business, and so on.
3. Copywriting and Branding
Many people are going to be working online for the next few months, constantly checking updates about the virus and the economy. Because so many companies are creating temporary work from home policies, more of the general public (and inevitably your customers) will be looking at your business online.
The copy on your website, marketing materials, ads, etc, is going to be an especially competitive advantage right now. With the world fighting for engagement, strong copywriting will be a competitive advantage to attract the audiences you want.
Moreover, it’s the perfect time to make sure images and other elements on your website are up to date. Do you have “Call-to-Actions” on your site, to make it easy for customers to find what they need? Is your contact information clear, complete, and quick and easy to locate?
Try and make any updates that you can. It will serve your company now, and for years to come.
4. Serve Your Market
Testing new markets in the current uncertain economic landscape may not be an effective use of your time. That’s not to say, “don’t be innovative, or come up with new, relevant products and services”, but encouragement to look at your most reliable customer segments. You have a “core audience” and serving that niche to your fullest capabilities will serve you well.
5. Focus on Offerings that Make or Save Your Customers Money
What is a ‘Bottom Line Product”? Simply put – it’s a product that you NEED. In uncertain times, your business’s customers are less focused on products they don’t need. But if your products and services make or save them money, you are indispensable.
Fortunately for the sanitation industry, our products and services are a necessity. Turns out that even in a quarantine people need portable restrooms, sinks, and hand sanitizing stations, and in some cases even more so.
This is a good time to consider additional products that you know your customers are looking for. Perhaps, for example, your company only rents portable restrooms. Right now, the public is looking for sinks and sanitizer. It could be time to branch out into a new product line.
Your customers will remember that you went the extra mile to provide a valuable service.