Having a robust Client Management process is all the more important due to the disruption by COVID-19. Your customers are no exception. And this calls to put steady client management at the center of our business strategy post COVID-19.
Understand full well that, not all your customers had the right remote work strategy or were in an industry that could have been less impacted due to the pandemic.
So, start with reviewing your existing customer base, initiate contact, engage more (if not already done), and identify how they are running their business and how you can help.
There may be a lot of things that you can do for your customers. And not everything is about giving them hefty discounts or charging less.
- Help them map out their key challenges
- Solve their problems with the existing services you have contracted for
- Show them how you handled the same challenge effectively
- Offer a complimentary service or consulting on areas under your expertise
- Streamline your internal processes to provide faster service or resolution
Let us explore how you can take actions that strengthen your customer relations, increase customer satisfaction and set you up for rewards when the tide turns.
Focus on relief measures for your Clients
Being sensitive to your customer’s current situation and dealing with empathy is the need of the hour.
We all have bills to pay. That’s a given. But challenging times call for creating thinking and solutions.
Ask yourself one simple question:
How can I provide relief to my customers?
Pickup areas where you think you did better than your customers or that helped you survive the COVID-19 impact.
It can be things as simple as
- guiding them to multiple free or cost-effective remote team management platforms
- offering a part of your product or service that will solve their problem immediately
- coming up with a quick new feature
- assigning a SPOC to provide them additional support during these challenging times
- opening new channels to make it easier to access your services, help and support
There are tons of small things that one can do like adding blog topics that talk about addressing your customer problems, or more educative content about your features and products, additional scenarios of how your product can be tailored to suit individual problems.
Conduct webinars or setup service review calls to go over any issues and plan to address them promptly.
This will generate a lot of confidence for your customers plus they will have one less thing to worry about.
The whole idea is to enable them run their business with utmost agility.
Improve your turn around time (TAT)
Customers never like to wait. Even in normal times and even a slight delay or the normal agreed response times too do not cut it for them.
They tend to get highly anxious, concerned and stressed!
No, your customers aren’t paranoid. It’s just the same for everyone.
Hence, make a revised plan, list out rules of engagement and most importantly share with all your customers. Notify them ALL!
Here is what you can do –
- Highlight or re-emphasis on the various support and request receiving options that are available to your customers.
- Have the exact response times conveyed in the acknowledgement email. No, your current -“someone will respond within 24-48hrs.” will not do!
- Provide alternate mediums to contact if they have a high urgency. You may get high volume of these “urgent” calls. But it is good in the long term.
- As you have more interactions with the customer, chances of identifying new opportunities are high. And so is the chance of new revenue for you.
- Register, review and respond to requests or issues as fast as you can.
- Communicate, communicate, communicate and then communicate some more.
- At each step of your interaction, share a crisp and concise next step, expected results and associated timelines. Irrespective of a new service request or an impending issue.
- Understand that your normal agreed SLAs will not make the cut in the current economic slowdown.
- All customers want more as usual and even faster than usual.
- Be open and honest about what you can do and cannot do.
- Let them know that you too are impacted (if required) but still out there watching out for their best interests.
- If you are not in a position to continue with the agreed support levels then let them know in advance. Share as much as possible to avoid unwanted surprises and heartburn.
Customer success is good for your business. Always stay watchful towards opportunities that lead to greater
- Customer interactions
- Higher Engagement
- Delight & win
Remember we humans always like to respond in kind! What goes around comes around!
When you up the ante during the trying circumstances and help your customers win you are bound to win big too!
While empathizing and offering relief is the key make sure you enable seamless collaboration and maintain utmost transparency in all your dealings.
Note: you don’t have to make radical changes to the way your business functions. The ask is to be more visible and available for your clients.
Listen harder, with intent and come up with solutions that can turn into a new revenue generating offering for you in the long run.
Anything can happen, as long as you are open to new ideas & suggestions.
You stand to gain a lot:
- Your customers would come up with new solutions and ideas.
- They may request for partnership, new business deals or ask you to improvise your offerings or add new feature.
- You can learn from them on how they handled specific business challenges and maintained the revenue upstream!
- Make learning a habit across your company.
- Share the planned new features or upgrades and seek feedback.
There are only opportunities if you have the right eye and mind set!
What customer engagement stories do you have to share? Have you delighted your customers during the corona pandemic? All ideas are welcome!