Three essential tips for handling change.
In business, change is inevitable and sometimes may be forced upon you when the status quo appears preferable. However, a seemingly unwanted development may facilitate a new chapter of success. You can maintain customer loyalty and maybe build new bridges. Here’s some thoughts on how to do it…
1. Maintain your USP
No matter how fundamental the change your business is facing, it is vital to retain the USP that your customers value. You have to keep your USP in order to retain customer loyalty.
When all cars are electric in 2040, will they all be the same? Of course not. Hyundai will offer the value for the money that its customers have come to love, while BMW will offer the build quality and level of comfort with which it is synonymous.
If you do not know what it is that your customers love about your business – what it is that keeps them loyal – definitely put aside time and resources to find this out.
2. Publicise the change
Do not try to conceal that a change is taking place within your business. Any attempt to do so will inevitably backfire as modern day communications ensure news spreads fast and rumours even faster.
Transparency is vital and, if step one above is adhered to, then there is nothing to fear. While your customers might react to a headline with a certain degree of apprehension, once it becomes clear that your business will retain the characteristics upon which their loyalty is founded, they will embrace the change willingly.
When publicising it, be sure to explain the benefits of the change that is taking place fully - that is not spin, it is just good communication.
3. Explain the journey
Unless your business is very young, this is unlikely to be the first change in its history. We ourselves have gone from being a below the line marketing agency in the 1980s, to adding website design to our list of services in the mid-1990s, to broadening our range of skills and abilities in the noughties, to becoming the fully integrated firm of online communications and marketing specialists that we are today. Throughout that journey, we have successfully retained many customers who have not only appreciated our USP but who have also seen the benefits of our direction of travel.
By keeping customers informed about the evolution of our business, and by signposting the benefits to be accrued along the way, we have maintained their confidence and loyalty.
Even if you do not have plans to undertake any major developments in the near future, the ever-changing business environment is sure to create new challenges and to present your business with new opportunities. Failure to adapt to technological advancements, reimagined business models, evolving customer expectations and shifts in the economy will see your business struggle to maintain its standing among more dynamic organisations.
The onward march of change makes the ability to present its benefits a vital requirement of any business. If you need help with your communication strategy, we will be pleased to help in any way.