Part 1: Managing the Post-sale Customer Experience in Uncertain Economic Times
Go above and beyond with new customers to meet their needs in uncertain economic times.
This decade has begun with economic uncertainty. From COVID-19 to political and social movements, businesses of all types have been impacted by the major fluctuations in consumer trust.
However, even in these times, there are strategies to build stronger post-sale customer relationships the right way from day one. Let’s look at how businesses can successfully work with new customers to create a strong foundation for moving forward even during uncertain economic times.
Assure your customer that they made the right choice – Even as the ink dries on the contract, it’s time to begin preparing for your newly-cemented customer relationship for success. To make a customer feel like choosing your company was the right move, get started on a positive note. Maybe there’s a hurdle such as a software integration that matters to them and an engineer can help get that set up in a day or two. This small gesture can reaffirm the new customer that they made the right choice to work with you.
Provide excellent onboarding to a larger audience – In uncertain economic times, training more people than less is a good idea, even if it takes a little more time. Don’t put all the knowledge on one or two employees if you can avoid it, instead spread out this information among a larger group. This way if a person leaves the company, you’ll have others with knowledge of your solution or product at the customer level who can pick up the relationship and keep going.
Be flexible with the terms of agreement – Just because the customer signed a two-year contract a month ago doesn’t mean that this has to be an ironclad document. For example, maybe the customer signed up for 20 seats with your software, but after onboarding they only need 15 for a few months due to economic reasons. Don’t put up a fuss over a few hundred dollars when they’re spending thousands. Being understanding and showing empathy is a smarter move in sustaining what is hopefully a long-term customer relationship.
Let them know you’re always here to talk – This is more of a general strategy and it’s important as customers are uncertain about their future. Tell new customers you’re available to chat on a wide array of topics, including your own strategies for working in times of economic instability. If sincere, this tactic will only help to strengthen the relationship you are building with a new customer. It also helps solidify you as a true business partner, rather than simply the transactional vendor-customer scenario.
The strategies above may work for new customers, but what about maintaining long-term relationships with established customers? Keep an eye out for Part 2 where we will focus on working with existing customers during a difficult economic period.
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