We are living in unprecedented times. The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a global economic downturn, and many businesses are struggling to stay afloat. For the first time in 15 years, tech companies are experiencing a major downturn. But even in the midst of this crisis, there are opportunities to be found. Read on to learn six strategies that help you weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side.
A crisis is an unstable situation that can feel traumatic or stressful. You may be bringing on fewer new customers, seeing churn rates rise, budgets tighten, and your team asked to do more with less these days. You may even be looking for your next opportunity. These all can feel uncomfortable and scary but there are breakthroughs to be uncovered.
A crisis can also be a turning point, a time of great opportunity to make changes in your company and in your life. But only if you don't waste it. I learned from my colleague and friend Aviv Ben Yosef, an expert on taking high impact tech leaders to the next level, that slow times are investment times. In fact, many financial investors seize the chance to purchase assets at bargain prices. So, rather than hunkering down and panicking, seize this moment to take your customers, company, and career to the next level.
Here are 6 ways to invest during a downturn:
Learn from your best customers. One of the best ways to improve your business is to learn from your customers. What do they love about your product or service? What are their pain points? What would they like to see improved? Take the time to interview your best customers and learn as much as you can from them. This feedback will help you identify areas where you can improve your products and services, and it will also help you build stronger relationships with your customers.
Upskill A downturn is a great time to upskill yourself and your team. There are many great courses and certifications available, and now is the time to take advantage of them. Focusing on learning right now will help you and your team stay ahead of the curve and be ready for the upturn. It will also help you develop new skills that can be used to improve your business. Check out my Orchestrated Onboarding™ Masterclass and Certification to acquire and deploy customer onboarding best practices.
Re-onboard existing customers. Don't forget about your existing customers! They are the lifeblood of your business, and they deserve your attention during a downturn. Re-onboarding your existing customers will help you retain their business and build stronger relationships with them. This means getting them up to speed on the latest changes to your products and services and enabling new users. It also means providing them with excellent customer service, because growth happens after the initial sale.
Create a prescriptive onboarding process that delivers value as quickly as possible. During a downturn, it's more important than ever to have a prescriptive and proactive onboarding process, and now is the time to put it in place. This includes creating a step-by-step approach that brings customer facing teams together for your customers. I can help. My proven Fast Track program will help you build customer trust and loyalty, and it will also help you retain their business.
Take the pulse on your existing approach. Consider conducting a customer onboarding health check. This will help you identify areas where you can improve your process. It will also help you ensure that your process is meeting the needs of your customers. My Customer Onboarding Health Check includes a strategic review of how you currently onboard customers and tailored guidance to help you do more with the resources you have.
Break down silos. A slow time is a great time to connect with teams across the company. Gain an understanding of their challenges and how you can work together to provide a better customer experience. This will help you identify opportunities to improve your products and services and better serve your customers.
What are you waiting for?
Never let a good crisis go to waste. You must prepare for the turnaround. Because it is coming. The pace of business will speed up. Your team will grow, and your budget will improve. You must be equipped to onboard and enable and engage a tsunami of new customers coming at you. A downturn can be a challenging time, but it can also be an opportunity to grow and improve your business. By following the six best practices in this article, you will weather the storm and come out stronger on the other side. It’s critical to invest in yourself, your teams, and your customers. When you learn from mistakes and grow from challenges, you will emerge from this crisis stronger than ever before.
DONNA WEBER is the world’s leading expert in customer onboarding. For more than two decades, she has helped high-growth startups and established enterprises turn new and existing customers into loyal champions. Her award-winning book is Onboarding Matters: How Successful Companies Transform New Customers Into Loyal Champions. Learn more at donnaweber.com.