They're all watching you…

Well, there certainly has been enough bad news for one week with the meltdown of Wall Street and international global markets.  I’m sure 90% of all our readers have been affected in some adverse way by all this activity going on.  It is clear that panic has set in and people are behaving in irrational ways.  

With that being the case, now is the time NOT to forget about your customers and clients.  While you may think everyone is focused on their own business and doesn’t care as much about others, i would challenge that level of thinking.  This is EXACTLY the time when your customers are watching you closely to see how you react to such negative news.  All eyes are upon you and your employees.  

Now is the time for calmness and focus on your customer.  Why?  Because they are getting beat up as much or potentially more than you are and worrying as much or more than you are.  This is the time when you can build some real credibility with them.  If you act in an irrational and panic mode like the rest of the people out there they will see you in that light.  However, if you act in a calm and constructive manner, who do you think they will ALWAYS want to turn to in times of crisis?  You’re right, its YOU.

This is where you reach out to them and see if you can be of even more assistance than you probably are already.  This is where you contact as many of them as possible, starting with your best and most loyal customers, and work your way down the list.  You want to see how they are doing, see how you can help, see how you can work closer together to figure this whole mess out.  Yes, I make it sound so simple and we all know it isn’t.  But even if you can’t work things out or do certain things, the point is you ASKED.  Asking is more than half the battle at showing people you care.  Asking is what separates you from the pack.

I always remember when I worked at IBM and had lots of tickets to events.  I would invite 3 times more people than I had tickets for. Why?  Because i knew that many customers wouldn’t be able to attend the event and if by chance (which rarely happened) I got more people saying yes than I had tickets, no problem, someone else always had extras.  But the real value is that I asked 3 times as many customers and just by asking they felt as good about it as if  they had gone with me.  

So the moral of this message is simple.  Go against the herd – lead.  Be the one that is out there showing you CARE and ASKING what you can do to help each other out and working TOGETHER to solve some of these short-term issues every business is going to be facing.  This is one of the best times to build loyalty and create an advantage over your competitors.  Don’t sit back, get out there and talk to your customers and come up with a plan of how you could potentially help each other.  Crisis brings out one of the best times to build relationships.  So don’t just mope around and complain – that won’t help anyone.  Instead, avoid the panic and take the lead and build some LOYALTY with your customers.

Hope this helps…

Blaine

Blaine Millet

Customer Experiences Inc.
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