4 tips on what companies can learn from the crisis

It is already clear that 2020 will go down in history as the “Corona Year”. The crisis is a tough test, especially for entrepreneurs with small businesses and the self-employed, and the aftermath will be felt for a long time to come. Despite all the challenges, it is important to look to the future with confidence and to use the time now to make your own business and customer management fit for the future.

One thing shows the current situation very clearly: Many small business owners have in a very short time creative solutions foundto keep your business running at least in part: From the pick-up service for food and drinks to online courses from fitness trainers to individual ordering and delivery services from stationary retailers without an online shop.

But with all creativity, the conclusion from the Covid 19 pandemic for entrepreneurs is: “Know your customers – because if you can’t sell your product, the best concept is worth nothing.” take action to address customer management now and after the crisis:

1. Customer management: tread digital paths

Digitization is the time of disruption. Many areas of life have changed fundamentally in recent decades: be it the way we communicate, the availability of information and the understanding of convenience. Small businesses and the self-employed also have to transform digitally – even if they pursue a traditional craft. It’s not always about adjusting the entire business model. But it is important to keep up with the times and that Processes around the core business adapt and digitize to changing customer requirements. Be it the provision of up-to-date customer communication tools, digital quotation and invoicing or the availability of new, convenient payment methods. Every hurdle that falls in the sales process increases sales in the long term and makes the business more successful.

Customer managementSource: Lexware
Lexware’s enterprise software automates accounting and payroll.

2. Customer management: Record existing customers

The data protection regulations for Collection of customer data have been tightened above all by the General Data Protection Regulation. Nevertheless, the self-employed and small business owners should not be deterred and find ways to register their customers in compliance with the regulations. This applies to all industries, including those in which walking customers are the main focus. A notice on the shop certainly does not have the effectiveness to advertise new offers. Whether through a loyalty program, a competition for customers, a mailing list or at least a well-maintained social media fan page – the data obtained in this way help you to know your own customers and win them over to new offer segments.

3. Activation of customers

Active communication with customers is often a fine line: Those who are addressed too often with irrelevant offers and information quickly become annoyed and withdraw their consent to be contacted via newsletters or emails. However, self-employed people and small business owners find it with a little sensitivity the right frequency and tonalityto address your customers regularly with offers and promotions and to call up an action: “Product XY could be of interest to you”, “Come to the store” or “Secure your discount now” – who activates his customers from time to time , can bind them more closely and increase its sales. The prerequisite is, of course, that the customer data has already been recorded or can be reached via social media.

4. Customer management: Obtain feedback

Customer focus has become the order of the day in many areas. But the customer should also be the focus for the self-employed and small businesses. It is helpful to ask customers for feedback regularly. In this way you will learn how customer service and the offer are perceived and can continuously develop. In addition to gaining knowledge, this has Get feedback Another positive effect: Customers who are asked for their opinion feel valued and are more satisfied, even if the feedback is not only positive

The current crisis is a tough school for many entrepreneurs. But it is also a learning journey: Those who draw the right conclusions and exchange ideas with their customers will make their business more successful in the long term.

About the author: : Isabel Blank belongs to the management of Haufe Group at. Here it is especially for the SaaS solution lexoffice responsible for digitizing and optimizing the business relationships of small entrepreneurs. (sg)