As a small business, you will no doubt be feeling the pinch with the current crisis being faced by the world. This has sparked some conversations with clients regarding tips on how to survive these quiet periods and how best to spend their time.
Let’s face it, we are familiar with the highs and lows of running a business, as small business owners we are used to facing “good news and bad news,” and that’s accurate with a recent rundown of headlines. We recommend that you keep motivated through these troubled times by making the most of your quiet times with our top 4 initiatives:
1. Focus on your existing clients/customers
The cost of acquiring a new customer is far higher than retaining an existing one. Your current customers are your best business asset especially in quiet times as they are familiar with your business operations and trust your products and services. During quiet times, you can plan a customer retention strategy. To get started, we recommend you reach out to your existing customers to get insights and see what the appetite is for additional services or products. Secondly, evaluate your existing data and look for trends. Once you have all the needed information you can begin to create and design a campaign. An example of a retention campaign could be a customer loyalty program which rewards customers for their continued support or develop a series of eDMs with tailored content promoting upsells and cross-sells of your existing services and products.
2. Keep in Touch
There is no better time to maintain and build on your existing relationships, this not only includes customers but your contractors, suppliers, communities, media and investors. Reaching out to your stakeholders via a call or with a personalised email on industry updates, latest news, offers or just a quick hi will ensure that a good relationship is maintained and will provide a much-needed business supporter who can potentially assist with sending business your way.
3. Work on your business
Now is the perfect time for getting a headstart on your business tasks that you may have been pushing aside. Use this time to reassess and refresh your website, update your social media profiles, develop case studies or update your marketing plan to reflect your current business goals. Additionally, you could catch up on your general administration such as organising paperwork, filling receipts, tracking invoices, scheduling appointsments or reviewing your business plan.
4. Take an online course or workshop
It’s a great time to invest in yourself and keep up with the latest trends in your industry by enrolling in an online course or workshop to learn some new skills. This will not only give you credibility but help you to position yourself as an expert leader in your industry.
Customers want their experience with your brand to be seamless and relevant. So, how do we ensure that you are providing the best possible experience? The best way is to visualize how your customer interacts with your business by mapping it, this is also known as customer journey mapping.
Customer journey mapping is a powerful tool that outlines and visualizes your customers path-to-purchase. The ultimate goal of creating this map is to better educate your business about your customers and their behaviors, it enables you to identify and relieve customer pain points, roadblocks and most importantly drive sales.
Other benefits to consider:
So, how do you create a customer journey map? You need to include every point where your customer comes into contact with your brand, from digital marketing to print advertising to customer service and packaging.
You should build a customer journey map as a tool to use in your overall planning, here are our simple steps to help get your started when creating your own map:
1. Profile your customers
Create a profile or avatar of your target customers, including:
2. Map touchpoints
Create a list of all the different ways a customer can interact with your brand. Some common examples include:
Website, social media, Google ads, email and shopping cart
Advertisement, editorial, catalogue and direct mailout
Try Googling your business to see all the pages that mention your brand and use it as a checklist.
3. Identify pain points
Its important that once you have established your brands touchpoints that you look at potential roadblocks that are stopping your customer from making their desired action, for example the navigation on your website is confusing and unclear which makes it impossible to find your product range.
Take the journey yourself and see what pain points you encounter when purchasing a product or finding out more about your services.
4. Collect data from current customers
It’s important to include quantitative elements from your website analytics, CRM, feedback forms or call centre software as this will assist in providing a more accurate representation of your customers journey.
For example your call centre reports or customer feedback forms might highlight trends with customers asking the same specific questions about your service.
5. Analyse the big picture and build your narrative
At this stage you will notice trends and patterns in the experience. Once you have all this data you are ready to consolidate the information into a diagram or infographic that demonstrates your narrative.
Customer journey mapping is a beneficial tool for businesses to understand how customers interact with your brand and enhance opportunities for your business to improve the journey. Your map is constantly changing due to customers demands and needs to be revisited regularly and updated as required.