The current situation is posing multiple challenges to businesses but the most crucial of them all is ensuring business sustainability and continuity. So what do you do to ensure that you are functional when a cloud of uncertainty is hanging over your shoulders? Work on creating a better and thoughtful customer experience that will enhance your Customer Retention (CR) and Customer Acquisition (CA) process. RevvSales recently partnered with Nasscom for a webinar on acquiring and retaining customers during COVID-19. 

The discussion was broadly around customer experience (that comprises of customer retention and acquisition)  and ways to strengthen it by reworking on your old marketing and sales strategies. You will now have to put yourself in your customer’s shoes to understand their perspective of things and pay attention to their problems.  This will enable you to think broadly and beyond the product. 

Where do we start?

Here are some of the techniques that you can incorporate into your customer experience process and reform your strategies to fit the current situation – 

Team safety – The first thing you need to do is ensure that your teams are safe and secure because your business is as good as your teams (employees). 

Engage with your customers – You have to stay in touch with your customers to understand their situation better, in order to help them with relevant tools, data, and resources. How you go about it will depend on the stage where your business currently stands. Your company can be at a customer development stage or at a growth stage. In the customer development stage, your business has maximum engagement with prospects, while in the growth stage (since you already have a revenue flow) you are trying to retain your customer base.  The approach will have to be modified depending on the size and the industry that your end-user belongs to. But one-on-one engagements should be the main focus to stay in touch with your customers. 

We, at RevvSales, are keeping in touch with our customers and helping them out by sharing emails and notes from our learnings and even news articles that are relevant for their business or specific to their operational area. We have gone beyond our scope of work and shared templates of emails that they can share with their employees in these times to be safe and some best practices and tools that they could implement amongst their teams. 

The tonality of your content – It is very critical that you go back to your communication channels and reconsider the tonality of your content. The message being sent across to your customers through an automated sign up e-mail, blog subscriptions, chatbots on your websites, social media content, etc needs to be more considerate with the ongoing crisis. These messages might have been produced and automated in the hay days of Dec’19 or Jan’20 when the situation was less challenging. So they may not carry the right tone to fit in the current scenario. You have to be careful about not being tone deaf but rather have an empathetic messaging for your prospects and customers. The right messaging can play a vital role in both CA and CR processes. 

Focus on customer needs –  In order to retain your customers, you will have to focus on their needs and extend your support in situations where they need it the most. Here are a few ideas to get you started 

  • If your customers and prospects are startups or small businesses –  You can collate information on how to acquire loans to ensure continuity during COVID-19 based on the region they operate in or the industry they belong to.
  • If you have customers in industries say manufacturing or where they are operating in a physical environment instead of remote working, you can guide them through the procedures on obtaining safety equipment like masks and sanitizers. 
  • You can also leverage your capabilities by developing chatbots for your customers if you are an IT company. This will help them respond to people in crisis and address their queries quickly and efficiently. 
  • Another idea that is running big right now is partnerships. Orthogonal businesses or businesses that just started are joining hands with competitors or big players and coming together to face the challenges and address customer needs in a more equipped way. 

Revisit your product-market fit metrics  – The current situation also drives a lot of startups and product-based companies to revisit their product-market fit. What you thought as pain points and vitamins a year or two years back is not the same. The scenario has dramatically changed so the product led companies should analyze and update their product metrics to be able to cater to the post-crisis world.    

Customer retention or customer acquisition – which side to incline? 

The most important thing to focus right now is customer retention v/s new customer acquisition. Customer retention is the key metric here that businesses should double down on. There are few industries that might be expectations to the scenario as they saw a dramatic shift in their customer demands where they can definitely double down on customer acquisition. But for the non-exceptional businesses, which are in huge numbers,  their focus should be more on customer retention as it is a low hanging fruit that can be attained in a much easier way. Current customers are the best bet than acquiring new customers at the moment. You just have to very careful with the way you communicate with them, keeping in mind the tonality that is appropriate at the moment. Be empathetic and try to help in the best possible way you can! 

Interested to talk to more about this, ping us here.

Rishi Kulkarni
Posted by:Rishi Kulkarni

CEO, Co-founder @revvsales. Ex- Product management at Freshworks/Freshdesk. Founder @1clickio (acquired by @Freshworksinc, previously @Freshdesk)

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