Running a business during challenging economic times — such as the current COVID-19 reality — is all about flexibility. The U.S. is now officially in a recession and adapting your business model to the current climate may seem like a daunting task. However, with proper management and processes, your business can thrive amid uncertain times and possibly become stronger as a result.
Based in Madison, New Jersey, Donald Solow is the President of Vista Life & Casualty Reinsurance Company, whose impressive portfolio of experience in insurance-related business has provided him with an expert lens on how companies can thrive amid recessions. Solow has devised the following tips for identifying new opportunities, moving a business online, and more.
Build Good Will With Your Customers
As the saying goes, “the more you give, the more you get”. By building good will with customers through offering free resources or services, you will retain their interest for the long-term and they will be more inclined to promote your company to the people within their network, says Donald Solow. A popular and effective way of building this good will is through a customer loyalty program.
Starbucks and many other coffee shops have their versions of it, rewarding customers with a free drink or baked good once they acquire enough points. Oftentimes, businesses will provide customers with a loyalty card that they swipe upon purchase to gather points, but the loyalty program can also be done online by having customers create an account that will log their purchases and the points their accrue.
Engage Your Following
Much like the world of social media influencers, you will want to engage your customers in a similar manner. Share regular content on a variety of social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter), host giveaways, reply to comments, and engage your community in live Q&A videos so that they can get to know the faces behind the brand. Likewise, Donald Solow encourages businesses to build their community engagement through partnerships with influencers.
From food to fashion to wellness and homeware, there are influencers for every facet of business. Whether on Instagram, Facebook, or YouTube, they can help to promote your online business and grow your customer-base through engaging images and videos.
Assess Customer Needs And Fill In Any Gaps
The key here is excellent customer service. To keep your customers loyal and happy, you need to regularly communicate with them and assess their needs. Do this by sending out weekly e-newsletters to provide company updates and welcome your customers to share reviews, feedback, and questions.
Make it more interactive by including a survey that invites them to talk about products they love, share suggestions for improvement, and offer ideas for products or services they’d like to see in the future. Donald Solow also suggests that businesses assess their website and social platforms to ensure they are user-friendly and in-line with the brand’s image.
The Bottom Line, According To Donald Solow
During challenging economic times like the current COVID-19 pandemic, businesses need to re-evaluate their current strategies and determine how they can provide value to their customers through digital platforms, as face-to-face meetings may no longer be an option. But through creativity and flexibility, businesses can learn how to adapt to this new normal and continue to thrive, says Donald Solow.
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