How to retain clients during a pandemic

I think it is fair to say that most businesses during Covid 19 have faced a huge decline in customers/traffic that has cost so many small, medium and large companies.  Most issues we have faced in the past you will already have experience in or you can simply find a guide or article online to help you deal/adapt to it, but this crisis that we find ourselves in has been unprecedented.

There was no way for us to prepare for it – and because of that – I think we have all found ourselves at one stage or another hitting our heads into a brick wall. I’m not going to sit here and tell you if you do this or that your business is going to survive because we don’t know, we have no idea what is coming and we have no idea what the future holds. What I hope this article can do is show you how applying the personal touch can completely change your customers perception of what you actually do for them. Just by taking a little bit of time out of your busy schedule to converse with them you can fully understand what they’re dealing with as well. Only at that stage can you  begin to adapt your business to ensure you are just as or even more relevant to them when they return.

At the start of the global pandemic we quickly found ourselves losing customers fast as we are mainly an in office application without an office there wasn’t too much need to keep their subscriptions going. Once we established this predicament, we had to quickly enter “damage control”, and on the first day of losing subscriptions we took the step of setting up phone calls with every one of our customers that we suspected would be affected to learn some of the following:

  1. What new challenges do you think you will face
  2. What can we do together to help tackle these challenges
  3. Offer of account suspension with contracts carrying over. (reason to reactivate)
  4. Planting the seed that we are vital for your return. 

This meant that during the first few weeks of the pandemic we already had a good understanding of what challenges our customers will face and what we need to do to make sure we are ready to face each of our customers’ “New Normal”. Now while this information is vital for our management and software team, for me this call is all about staying at the front of our customers thoughts and letting them know that we are here to help and will do everything in our power to ensure we are part of their solution moving forward.  We also want to keep coming up during their meetings as the tool they Must have ready for their return. Not only that but just by speaking personally with the client we have already planted the seed of anticipation for their return with Roomzilla being a key part of that plan.  And lastly,  just being able to speak with your customers on a regular basis should be your standard practice!

Now procuring information is one thing but using this to positively influence your service/product can be extremely difficult but a vital challenge for you and your client to move forward together.  We all have new challenges to face and we all somewhat rely on technology to help you overcome them. Some of the concerns our customers brought up were.

  1. Social distancing
  2. A / B Teams
  3. Capacity controls
  4. Contactless

Once we had this information from our customers we knew what they needed and expected for their return, and we can use the down time to positively influence the future of our cooperation. Adapting to what our customers are asking for and making sure they know during this time that we are getting ready for THEM (Not our customer base but for them exclusively). A key part of this is addressing their challenges directly and contacting them throughout the downtime with our progress via chat or over the phone. 

Of course being agile is bloody difficult as you have to adjust your road maps and the way your business is run. One of the biggest changes for us was no longer identifying as a Conference Room Reservation System but more of a Resource Reservation System that will allow you to take full control over all your whole space from Hot Desks to Parking Spaces. These changes had a big effect on us as Hot Desks and even gyms have become a big part of our business post-pandemic.

Without us approaching our clients to speak with them directly we could have spent what was valuable time improving what we already had with the expectation everyone will return to the same office in the same environment. But we actually found out early on that people expected changes going forward and that they would need something to help them achieve this.  Knowing this information, we have been working tirelessly to ensure upon everyone’s return we were able to solve the problems that we are all facing.  The challenge now lies in when that stable return will actually come.