Your customers’ problems
Solving your customers’ problems has always been key to being successful in business or in your career. Now that the nation, and much of the world, is in Lock Down due to the novel Coronavirus, it is easy to become wrapped up in your own problems but your customers still have problems and they have new ones to boot. Here’s how you can solve your customers’ problems in this time of crisis.
Having our businesses forced shut in many cases is definitely a blow and it poses many problems. It can be easy to look at our own problems and get demotivated as you struggle to see a way through it all. But simply staring blind at our own problems, or worse, giving up, is not helpful. It doesn’t help us find a solution for ourself and it certainly doesn’t help our customers!
‘Our customers?’ I hear you ask, ‘What do you mean, I can’t serve my customers while locked down?’. Well yes, your customers! They have problems too. They had a problem before, which you solved and now they have a brand new set of problems made worse by the fact that they can’t access your services and products, plus they’re also on lock down! So yes, your customers have problems and they need solving.
Herein lies your opportunity. How can you solve your customers problems in a lock down situation, or at least how can you help your customers solve their own problems. How can you add value in this new situation that we all find ourselves in, because remember, you’re not alone. We’re all in this together.
‘But my service or product is based on a physical business model’, you say, ‘I don’t know how I could bring this online to continue trading?’. Sure, it is true that this is a challenge, but remember your customers problems. If you think of how you can solve those, you might find new and innovative ways of doing business.
What others are doing
I’m not just making this up either. Having been working with entrepreneurs in Lock Down, I’ve been lucky enough to witness people take their yoga business, their counselling and even their massage therapy online with great success in only a short space of time. I’ve seen entrepreneurs uncover new revenue streams which can bring them new income long after this crisis is over. It required them to really flex, adapt and step out of their comfort zone but they did it!
I’ve also seen entrepreneurs dig real deep, using up their resources, simply to push on through with their plans. Seems silly? Or is that your money-mindset? This is a great time to play the long game. This will not last and although the future looks even more uncertain now than usual, we will come out on the other side in a different landscape altogether. It will be up to each of us what part we play in the design of that landscape but here is your opportunity to make a positive impact.
So what can I do?
What can you do to help solve your customers existing and new problems. Well, firstly, find out how they are. Speak to your customers, listen to their concerns and even ask how you might be able to help them now. This alone could give you some real valuable ideas without having to break your brain over it.
Find ways existing technology can help you reach your customers. Be flexible and adapt your products, services, processes and business model to work with technology and reach your customers this way. Even if you’ve always firmly held the belief that this couldn’t work for your business, now is the time to try it. You might be surprised at what you can.
If you don’t enjoy working with technology, reach out within your network. There is support out there, now more than ever. Here’s a good YouTube playlist of support sessions that have been happening for entrepreneurs.
Generating content that adds value online is key. Creating videos, writing blogs or hosting watch parties and zoom sessions will bring you closer to your audience online. And the great thing about this is that it really opens up your target market as well.
Bad for business?
Consider teaching your customers, help them to help themselves. ‘Won’t that be bad for business?’ you ask. No, this is about providing service in a very restricted climate. Providing quality service to your customers will help your customers remember you after this is over. Remember the long game.
You know you can make a perfectly good spaghetti carbonara / chicken and cashew stir fry / Sunday lunch (delete as appropriate) at home, but you still enjoy going to that Italian / Chinese / Pub to enjoy that same meal cooked for you. Your product or service is more than just its core, it adds additional value to your customers and so they will come back even if you teach them to help themselves.
The long game
Think about your business in the short, medium and long term. Use this time to strategise, to innovate and maybe even to redesign your business model. There is a wealth of opportunity here, even if it might not pay off instantly.
Be creative and innovate, think of new ways to add value and solve your customers problems. You might even find new customers and new problems which still align to your core business but may result in new revenue streams. By creating and building your presence online, you can reach brand new audiences who might come to you for new applications for the solutions you provide.
If you’d like to explore any ideas for solving your customers problems, have questions about the above or generally would like support in these challenging times, I’m doubling down on the service I provide. This is a time when support is needed and I’m offering to help you! Get in touch and we’ll schedule some time.