Times have been really hard for both small and big businesses. Hard economic times affect customer demand, which affects sales. And the adverse foreign exchange situation has skyrocketed the cost of doing business.
But even in these hard times, it’s very easy for entrepreneurs to get caught up with blaming external factors for our business woes which should not b so.
Instead of always whining and murmuring, here are some ways to keep your business afloat during recession.
1. Customer service is key
What kind of products do you sell to them? Do you always leave them with products or services that make them feel like they got value for their money? Do you leave an indelible impression in their minds after they have patronized your business?
Do your staff understand how important your customers are to your business? Is there a minimum quality standard of service delivery that your employees are required to provide to your customers?
Have you clearly defined how you want your customers to feel after patronizing your business?
It’s very easy to forget that to achieve customer satisfaction, retention and loyalty, you have to provide exceptional service delivery.
2. Keep track of what your customers want
How well do you really know your customers? No matter what you sell, everybody cannot be your customer. And the sooner you clearly define and discover your ideal and target customers, the better for your business.
Are your customers people from a particular location, age group, gender, occupation, ethnicity, income level, education level, or what exactly?
Are the bulk of your customers salary earners, business people, house-wives, petty traders, school children, small businesses, or college students? Do they belong to the upper [email protected], middle [email protected] or lower [email protected]?
Consumers behave differently during hard economic times, depending on their need or want for your product or service. And if you don’t know who the bulk of your customers are, it’s almost impossible to get understand how they would react during an economic recession.
If you know your customers, you will learn how they think and behave. And if you know how they think and behave, you can adapt your products, services, prices, and offers to suit their budget during hard economic times.
In order to understand your customers, you need to apply yourself a lot more than you might be used to. You might need to carry out surveys from your target audience to understand what makes them tick and obtain information to tailor your product/service offerings appropriately.
The truth is, if done properly, the information obtained through this process can translate into increased profitability for you and your business.
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