MEET YOUR CUSTOMERS WHERE THEY ARE
Right now, people are feeling anxious about their health and the uncertainty surrounding the economy, their jobs and businesses. They’re also overwhelmed and pre-occupied as they adjust to a new way of life. Working from home and staying in — with partners and kids in tow!
However, the fundamentals of business don’t change. You need to start with the problems your clients are experiencing. Then identify how you can serve them — the solutions you and your services provide.
To figure out where your customers are at this moment, start by asking yourself:
1. What immediate challenges are my clients experiencing?
2. How do I help them solve these problems?
At this time — more than ever — you need to meet your clients where they are right now.
WHERE DO YOU NEED TO PIVOT?
Once you’re clear on this, the next step is to look at your existing services.
3. Where do you need to tweak your current offers — or even pivot your business altogether — to meet your clients where they are now?
Look for the opportunities and gaps in the current market, as well as ways you can pivot now for the long-term. Here are some ideas about what and how you can pivot:
Idea #1 — Take your services online
Video conferencing apps like Zoom and Houseparty have recently experienced a surge of activity. Businesses are moving to online meetings with clients and teams. Our social lives have transitioned to virtual ‘happy hours’ and dinner parties!
In response to quarantines and social distancing, many consultants and service based entrepreneurs have moved from in-person to virtual consults. It’s a great time to reflect on how you work and deliver your services, now and into the future. It could open up new opportunities to provide more convenient, hassle-free services to your customers on a permanent basis.
Speakers, trainers and facilitators are creating virtual summits and workshops to support their communities at this time. In the process, they’re producing assets they can use or sell in future and are opening up new ways of working. Many companies are using this as an opportunity to take their businesses completely online.
What opportunities exist for you to take your services online?
Idea #2 — Thinking creatively + innovating
Some businesses are taking this a step further, by coming up with creative ways to pivot in the current market. As an example, my favourite skin clinic — which had to shut its doors indefinitely last week — is offering virtual skin consults on FaceTime.
This is a smart business move, which is seeing them roster on one staff member a day to fulfill these services and answer customer queries 24/7 on social media. As a result, they’re still able to sell services and distribute plenty of products online.
Where are the opportunities for you to innovate right now?
Idea #3 — Tackling projects you ‘never have time for’
If workflow is slowing down, consider using this time to tackle some of the projects you can never quite get to during busier periods.
Think about creating long-term assets or passive income streams that you can scale or deliver virtually. How can you package up your knowledge and expertise? Consider do it yourself (DIY) programs, teaching newer professionals in your industry or online workshops and digital products to support your services.
Find ways to increase visibility or market your business. Start that podcast or finally get around to those website updates you never usually have time to work on!
Idea #4 — Create free content
Creating quality content that adds value to your audience should be a key part of your long-term marketing strategy. If this isn’t something you’ve started or done consistently in the past, now is the time to begin! For example, accounting firms are providing updates to clients on the latest tax relief measures and COVID-19 government assistance packages to support businesses.
Your free content could be a blog on your website, a You-Tube channel or video blog, or a podcast. Go with your strengths, choose one medium and commit to producing one new piece of content every week or fortnight. Focus on being of service, adding value and creating content to support people where they’re at right now.
Remember, you don’t own social platforms, LinkedIn connections or Instagram followers. It’s therefore important to host all unique content on your own website. Then, you can share snippets on social media and drive traffic back to your website.
Start building an email marketing list of potential customers that you can nurture and make offers to in future. Create a free e-book, video, checklist, audio recording or something of value and have people sign-up and give their email address to receive it. Then, share your weekly content to build trust with these connections over time.
Idea #5 — Introduce lower priced offerings
If your client base has been financially impacted, consider creating lower priced offerings to support them with what they need right now. Be flexible, think about low risk/cost offerings and focus on servicing your clients in the areas they need immediate help.
This doesn’t have to mean discounting your existing offers. Instead, consider introducing more affordable services or new ways of working with you on a shorter-term or one-off basis. Longer-term payment plans and offering additional bonuses are also smart strategies at this time.
These ideas have helped my clients and I figure out what and how to pivot in the current market to safeguard our businesses and best support our customers at this time. I hope they support you too.