Contacting customers is absolutely essential in the current economic downturn. Many consumers are got over the blinding sales on offer and are looking at how stable the vendors are. This is especially so when products require a certain level of assistance or ongoing upgrades.
When fear enters the picture, in the absence of the truth, the individual makes up something that is so much worse. We seem to be genetically programmed to look at the negative side of things, a natural protection mechanism.
So what message should you give. That depends entirely on the customer group – and knowing about your customer to that level of detail requires business intelligence capability. For customers in lower economic levels – they will be looking at ways to spread payments or lower cost options. For those in the mid-level, with perhaps more job security and lower debt levels, they will be looking to cash in on the good deals and are more willing to get a good discount for cash payments now, rather than extended payment terms. For those at the top, they are more concerned with ensuring that support will be there when they want it – they don’t have time to read manuals and prefer to get on the phone and have someone walk them through installations or have a service agent do the installation for them.
You need to affirm to your current customers that your business is solid. Be honest. Tell them you are taking prudent actions to cut costs to ensure your debt levels remain within good business practice, and that to ensure your current products remain supported that you are working closely with suppliers to ensure that both product delivery and after sales service remain at the levels you know they value.
Customers just want to feel that you are on the ball – that you care that they may be feeling restless and want some form of assertion that all will be well. Contacting your customers and keeping them close to you will do more for maintaining sales volumes than almost any other strategy.
So you see, The Logical Organization and business intelligence is not all about raw data. It’s about having the right information you can rely on to create a transparent relationship with your suppliers and customers. Right brain emotion is still a valued partner of left-brain logic.