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MusicBiz Blog

For all the latest news and information from MusicBiz and ThinkSmart Software.

5 Tips You Need to Know to Keep Happy Customers Through COVID-19
5 Tips You Need to Know to Keep Happy Customers Through COVID-19
Monday, 11th May 2020 ThinkSmart Software

Like most countries across the world, the UK and Australia are facing challenging times due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Lockdowns are dramatically altering customer behaviours, due to both financial concerns and movement restrictions. With some territories starting to contemplate lifting restrictions and easing back into "normal," many companies face challenges in retaining customers through the pandemic. They may also find it difficult to attract new customers despite the lockdowns having ended.

In short, the pandemic will make customers cautious for the foreseeable future. This uncertainty has the potential to also cause issues for your business. Below are five tips to consider which will help keep customers through these difficult times and entice them to come back once things are back to normal!

Wherever Possible, be Flexible and Suggest Alternatives

Your clients' health comes first, naturally. Make sure you let them know that you're supportive of them and encourage them to voice whatever makes them feel the most comfortable. For example, maybe one family does not feel comfortable coming back to the dance studio, but they would feel more relaxed about continuing the virtual lessons they’re currently doing with you. Another family may have lost their income. Possibly, with that family, you could hold off from billing them for a month or two until they find another job.

There may be some situations where you cannot be as flexible. After all, your business has bills to pay too! In that case, try and communicate with clients and see if there are alternatives to them leaving. Perhaps you can work out a payment plan or get the customers onto online lessons which will be cheaper for you to administer both in the shorter and longer-term.

Each business is unique but remember that many customers are not trying to cancel now because they no longer like or want your services, they're doing so for financial realities and general uncertainties. Finding creative ways to alleviate those concerns will go a long way towards keeping your customer base.

Create a Mailing List

If you can't find a way to encourage the customer to stay, you might want to offer to add them to a mailing list for when things have improved, and your business is open again. You can say something along the lines of "really sorry to see you go. Would you like us to contact you with our status updates and let you know when we're up and running again?"

Many customers will say that's not a problem since most of them will be cancelling for reasons unrelated to your services. You can then add them to the mailing list which can be used for infrequent, but regular, updates on how the pandemic is playing out and when you think you might be operational again. In these emails, you can also offer some virtual lessons as a replacement.

Leading up to your grand reopening, you can email this list and begin to get some of your old clients back! When the pandemic starts subsiding, many people will be far more receptive to joining you again.

Create Unique, Fun Content for Your Website and Social Media

One of the biggest challenges businesses face with COVID-19 is that they are too "out of sight, out of mind." Since customers aren't driving to or by your business regularly, it's easy to slip to the back of people's minds. One of the ways that you can combat this, digitally, is to create content for your social media channels regularly.

If you are a dance teacher, for example, then maybe you can create a video showing some particular moves, or an intro to dance lesson that goes on your social media channels. Similarly, if you are a guitar professional, then maybe showing some chords or advanced playing techniques will help keep you in the public eye.

Creating this content while you're on lockdown also gives you a head start once things return to normal. You can use the content you make as promotional material to encourage others to register for your classes!

Consider Providing Targeted Incentives

It can be tempting to consider providing ambitious discounts to get people to stay. However, it will be hard to change that pricing once the pandemic is over. For example, why would people pay $100 per month for your services after COVID-19 when they were paying $30 a month earlier?

However, that doesn't mean there isn't room for targeted incentives aimed at keeping your best clients around. Perhaps you could add in a free lesson per week for your best clients while COVID-19 is happening? Since you're now working from home, there's no commute, so you might have a bit of extra time to dedicate to some of your best students. Or, if you've been busy creating videos, perhaps you could offer some advanced instruction videos to your existing students at no cost.

You don't necessarily need to provide large monetary discounts. Giving people appreciation, recognition, and a token of gratitude for staying with you during these times is often enough!

Encourage Gift Cards and Referrals

Many people are taking this opportunity to try and support the small businesses that they know and love. One way in which you can help your clients help you is to make it easy for them. Clients can give gift cards to people they know would be interested in your services. You can also offer referral promotions (refer one person, each person gets a free lesson) to give people an incentive to promote your business to others once the lockdowns subside.

Again, it's important to remember that your clients still likely value your services and appreciate your instruction - however, extraneous circumstances are forcing them to reconsider. By helping your most loyal customers help you, you'll help keep them happy and entice others to register with you once the pandemic ends.

You Can Keep Your Clients through and After COVID-19

Ultimately, with the right strategies, it's possible to keep your clients even with COVID-19. Provide your clients with the right incentives, encouragement, and flexibility, and they will reciprocate wholeheartedly. Remember, we're all in this together, and with the right incentives and ideas, you'll be able to keep your clients and entice new ones throughout these times.

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