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It’s clear that customers are cutting back on spending, some have cancelled orders and that means competition for businesses is greater than ever. In tough economic times, what practical steps can owners take to find new customers and retain existing customers? 

Prioritise revenue opportunities

Firstly, you need to understand which products/services are currently selling and those that aren’t and reallocate spending to proven growth sources. It’s also worth reskilling your sales force to support remote-selling and digitize your sales channels.

Market your business online

To win customers they first need to find you. Covid-10 accelerated the shift to digital. Understand how your potential customers buying behaviour has changed – where are they looking for information, can you be found online, how does your digital experience stack up against your competitors?  A robust digital marketing strategy requires the bringing together of multiple tactics from a website that offers a good user experience, to search engine optimisation that enables customers to find you, to regular content that you can use to attract customers across social and other digital channels.

Content is king

Your content will help attract customers to your digital channels and is key in shaping their buying decision. Once you understand what you customers value and need, develop a library of resources and information that you can publish across all channels which talks to those pain points and needs. Share examples of great customer feedback, develop case studies, ask customers to endorse you.

Measure customer experience – and act on the findings

Understanding how your customers are feeling and what they want from you is vital whether they are looking for inspiration, support, guidance or innovation to solve their problems. Customer experience is all about how your customers think of you as a brand. It influences whether they buy, how often they buy and their willingness to refer you to others. Make sure you measure it. Conduct surveys, poll your customers and act on the findings. Understanding what customers value now and tailoring your offering to that can drive sales and shape the product lines and services you invest in going forward.

Now that you’ve won them, keep them

It’s also important to help your customers feel inspired and special during these uncertain times because they’ll remember how you made them feel in the long run. Remember to re-connect with any customers that have gone quiet during the pandemic and stress the value that your business can offer to them. Adapt what you do and how you communicate and spend time understanding what your customers are reading, how they are researching and their motivations to buy.

Find and contact your local Haines Watts office

About the author

Daniel Morgan

Dan joined Haines Watts in 2011. While he works across many sectors, he has a particular expertise and interest in the property, hotel, technology and media sectors and in advising professional service firms. Dan works primarily with owner managed businesses. While he delivers a range of accounting services, he thrives on providing strategic consulting focused on helping owners realise value in and from their businesses. Dan sees one of his core roles as being a sounding board for the business owner; a trusted confidant who can challenge and question but also support the owner.

 

The most enjoyable part of what I do is working with business owners on their long term plan and future goals. It’s so rewarding to be part of creating that strategy and helping them achieve the desired outcome.

If I wasn’t doing this I’d be: a pro golfer.

Favourite Sports Team: Manchester United.

Dream Location: Tuscany, drinking red wine.

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