How Covid-19 Has Contributed To The Shape-Shifting Of Business
Way back in 2007 and 2008, some companies began intentionally dropping customers. The term was customer divestment. For instance at that time according to Harvard Business Review, “Sprint Nextel sent out letters to about 1,000 people to inform them that they had been summarily dismissed—but the recipients were Sprint customers, not employees.” These were customers who were calling customer care hundreds of times a month about issues the company felt they had resolved. It turns out the company was losing money and could not adequately meet the needs of “this tiny subset of subscribers.” So, they let them go. https://hbr.org/2008/04/the-right-way-to-manage-unprofitable-customers
New Marketing Channels May Present Themselves
I wrote in this month’s blog (As We Move Forward It May Be Best To Leave Some Behind) about how I reevaluated my customer base many years ago and how the Covid-10 pandemic has given me the opportunity to reevaluate again. Whether or not reevaluating your client/customer base is something to look at and address or not, without question the pandemic has provided numerous ways that businesses are shifting their focus and services. For instance, I recently read about a restaurant food wholesaler in New York who shifted to delivering food to residents when all the restaurants were required to close their doors. This has turned out to be a very profitable market and the company has learned more about its new customers. Subsequently, it has redesigned its website twice to make it friendlier for their new customers. In addition the company bought a fishmonger and partnered with a farm, both businesses were suffering early on in the pandemic but now have new life because one company learned how to shift its perspective.
Listen And Learn
What I get from this example is the importance of embracing new business models and taking the time to thoroughly examine current sales and marketing channels to determine which ones are working best. Are there some channels that are shallow? Some that are barely navigable? Social media and digital channels are providing even more exciting new opportunities to expand and morph businesses. Some new marketing channels may open up to you accidentally, easily, and effortlessly, while others may occur out of necessity.
Getting A Little Old-Fashioned
Another aspect that the pandemic has brought to the surface is the hunger for a real human voice on the other end of the telephone. Reaching out to clients via the telephone instead of an email or text has become more acceptable. In fact, many of my clients have invited me to call them as we explore and discuss new ways of marketing in this unexplored territory. Every method of staying in touch is viable. Find out what best meets your customers desires and needs.
Before You Let Customers And Clients Go
Make sure you are kind and discreet and are not breaking any rules. Everyone is having issues during the pandemic, so make sure you are not letting a customer go because they’ve been stressed due to the current circumstances. Everyone has been under undue stress. One natural way of indirectly getting rid of customers is by no longer offering certain products and services. Or perhaps your company has decided to exit an entire business segment.
This is a great time to shape shift your business and explore profitable new marketing channels. If you have a new channel that has opened up you may need new marketing materials. If that is the case, we are always here to help you explore new ways to reach new customers.