Coping In A “Down” Economy

If you’re feeling the pinch of the spending downturn, there are ways to overcome it.

A frequent complaint we hear nowadays is that there are fewer tourists around than last year, and they spend less money, so times are hard.

One of the most frequent questions we get is “how do we cope when we have less money to spend on advertising and marketing?”

The answer is, quite simply: increase your promotional efforts and provide better customer service!

But as we always advocate, be smart when spend you spend your money.

Of course, one objection we get is that it’s in our interest that our clients spend more on promotion, but the truth is that it’s in your best interest to spend more too!

Spending more on promoting your company is hard when you have less money, but this can really make a difference.

Remember that others are feeling the pinch too, it’s not just you. And everyone is pulling back on their promotions, thinking they can’t afford to spend the money.

So this is a great opportunity to overshadow your competitors, to gain a higher market share, and to make more money than your competitors in this difficult economy. Then they are the ones likely to face bigger financial challenges than you.

This advice isn’t just based on our opinion – it’s proven through many recessions and down economies that companies that increase their spending not only survive, but often thrive during these difficult times.

Our next advice is to concentrate on your customer service. In this “down” economy you cannot afford to alienate any of your customers. It’s a small island, after all, and it’s amazing how quickly word gets around about exceptionally good or exceptionally appalling service.

Some years ago, Steve looked at complaints handling in a major UK holiday tour operator and had full access to their internal files. As part of the project, Steve called a number of customers who had complained to discuss their complaints handling procedures. One of these customers had told over 50 of their friends never to use this particular tour operator. As they had around 10% market share at the time, this was a very serious concern for their future growth.

Now imagine, if you treat your customers badly you may quickly get a reputation which will be very difficult to change, and this may hurt you for a long time to come.

Let’s take a real example. The owners of a leisure company recently asked one of their customers to leave the premises and not come back. Although it’s their right to do so, in this case the reason for this action was due to the owner’s emotional state of mind rather than any wrongdoing by the customer.

The customer had already spent over €1,000 in the previous 8 months with that company, and looking at their current monthly expenditure would most likely have spent in the region of a further €1,800 over the following 12 months.

During this episode another 3 customers were present and heard everything. One was already spending a fair amount with this company; another was planning to use the company in the future. The third would possibly not be a regular customer, but was now aware, and indeed shocked at how the company runs its business.

The result was 4 people actively telling others what a bad experience they had received. Within a day, at least 20 people were aware of the situation, some of which were existing customers and were now unlikely to return to the company.

This easily cost the leisure company in the region of €2,500 over the following 12 months, and possibly much more in lost future business. Instead, their competitor just down the road now has a set of new customers, eager to spend their money.

So work hard on your customer service. Strive to provide exceptional service to every single one of your customers. Provide service with a smile, and if you don’t like some of your customers do your best to hide it! If you do, you’re much more likely to stay in business for the future.

If you want more profits and customers, clients or patients, call Jennie on 902 789 660 now!

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