It is often said that you must learn from your mistakes. However, a single general mistake by a company can cost it a lot of money. This is not conducive to business continuity during an economic slowdown.
In 2020, brands need to be more vigilant and proactive to ensure that their business sustains the poor market conditions. So, what general mistakes should you avoid to retain your customers’ support?
Not Recognising the Bond between Client and Employee
The reflex action of any organisation during a slow economy is to cut salaries and lay off employees. While this may sound ideal for cost-cutting theoretically, it is essential to understand the value of an employee that has represented your company for years. This is especially the case in the B2B parallel. Over the years, your clients have most likely created a strong bond with certain workers. In fact, studies suggest that the loss of an employee may have a negative effect on customer loyalty. Many organisations have failed to understand this relationship and suffered the consequences. Analyse the importance of your employee before making any drastic decisions.
Ignoring the Importance of a Social Media Presence
American physician and philosopher Debasish Mishra has said “Most suffering comes from the failure to adapt and a resistance to change”. This may be a general quote but the same logic can be applied to any organisation. Social media has been at the forefront of information delivery for many years, however many small-scale companies have refused to adapt to it effectively.
Individuals are constantly glued to their mobile devices. A social media presence is an efficient method of raising awareness and expanding client base. Unfortunately, many companies are still not proficient at maintaining their presence online. Ensure that your organisation makes full use of the benefits of social media and understands the vitality of the same.
Poor Customer Service
It’s been said time and time again—customer is king. Customer satisfaction is a catalyst for increasing sales. You must ensure that your clients’ needs are addressed accurately. Generally, contact centres are the vanguard of consumer communication. Using modern cloud solutions such as IVR and toll-free numbers, you can ensure first point query resolution. Your customers will be received by the most appropriate agent with less waiting time.
In addition to virtual call centre software, you can also invest in AI chatbots that allow your consumers to address concerns by themselves. AI-integrated IVR also allows self-service menus. All in all, ensure that your organisation pays attention to the requirements of your clients.
Low-Quality Recruitment to Save Costs
It is not unheard of businesses to hire not-so-qualified workers to conserve monetary funds. Another reason for doing the same is due to the lack of quality employees available in a geographic location. However, in the age of the internet, there is no excuse for limiting recruitment due to these factors. Owing to cloud solutions, remote working has become more accessible and efficient. Hence, you can easily recruit someone on the other side of the planet if they fit your requirements better than anyone closer.
Hiring inadequate workers may result in lower productivity and unsatisfactory work results that might eventually put off your customers. An expert, even working from another location altogether, can contribute their expertise and produce better results.
Lower Investments in Marketing
Media consumption is at an all-time high. People are constantly consuming content from different devices. Organisations tend to think that economic slowdown does not call for aggressive marketing. If you lower your costs in marketing, your consumers are left in the dark about your brand. This might potentially lose you many existing and new consumers.
Contrary to popular belief, this is the ideal time to assure people that your company is functioning and providing its services.
Advertising rates are dropping and thus, the cost of marketing your products or services will also be lower than expected.
Promising more than can be Delivered
Understanding a company’s limits is just as important as reaching for the stars. While promising your client certain results, ensure that you keep your organisation’s resources and manpower in mind.
Promising more than you can deliver will lead to either incomplete or low quality results. This can lead your customers to lose trust in your business. If a client is aware of your limits, they will know what to expect. However, over promising can lead to unnecessary burden on your employees and a disappointing outcome for your clients.
Continuing with Less Popular Offerings
During recessions, customers will limit their purchases in every capacity. Hence, businesses that continue to pour money into their less profitable endeavours are more likely to lose that contribution. It is not the time for optimism but rather, realism.
Focus on the goods and services that are most widely-received and push those products into the market. Your customers will most likely stick to these aspects of your brand. You can avoid the loss of time, effort and money otherwise utilised in other products that are not accepted by your customers. Homing in on the profitable products will satisfy your consumers and also appeal to a new base.
Reduce or Cease Work Operations During a Slowdown
The market has been volatile and uncertain. With the lockdown restrictions due to COVID-19, many general office-goers were unable to work at their usual settings for a while. However, there are various other methods to resume work in such a time. Using cloud services and the internet, remote working is an alternative to a traditional setup.
Some organisations, however, have refused to acknowledge this opportunity and reduced or ceased operations temporarily. This is a rather damaging general mistake across industries. If you do not attempt to work at full capacity, you are essentially handing your consumers to your competitors.
Try to Innovate
Necessity is the mother of innovation. In general times, it is important to bring forth new goods and products that serve distinct purposes to your older products. However, during a recession, you want to avoid the burden of conceptualising a new product or service.
Innovations take time, effort, money, planning, and marketing. Instead, these need to be concentrated on your star products that will bring your organisation the most profit.
Trying to sell an innovation in such a period will confuse your consumers. Most likely, they will be distracted from the products that they already trust and are inclined to purchase.
Subjecting Customers to Formal Hierarchy
The general hierarchy of many brands requires a certain structure. In fact, many organisations tend to function better in that form of network. However, that does not mean a customer should be subjected to the same.
It is rather common for poorly run businesses to put their consumers through several levels of your office structure while addressing issues. This creates a cumbersome task for the consumers and leaves them with a bitter experience.
To improve this situation, invest in an IVR system that reroutes callers to their preferred department. Cloud call centre software also lets you analyse your consumers’ behaviour and reduce wait time. This way, you can maintain a hierarchy without alerting your customers.
A mistake by a company can cause a ripple effect of consequences that affect multiple parties—shareholders, employees, management, and consumers. The problems mentioned above are generally the areas where companies seem to falter the most. You must acknowledge, analyse and fix these issues as there is a high risk of losing your consumer base if you don’t. General issues like these apply to almost all industries and are easy to contain, once recognised.
Be aware of your position in this economic slowdown and make maximum use of AI, cloud technology and the internet to maintain your consumer base. Your mistakes come at the high cost of your customers.
Vanita Arora is a marketing enthusiast. She is currently working with Servetel – a leading cloud telephony service provider that specializes in providing IVR Services. Researching new online marketing trends are some of her interest areas that keep her rejuvenated.