In the past three global recessions, nearly a fifth of companies didn’t survive. Of those brands that did make it, 80% still had not regained their pre-recession growth rates for sales and profits three years later.
As COVID-19 sends our economy spiraling, businesses are quickly shifting their 2020 strategies in hopes of beating the odds and coming out stronger on the other end of this.
In anticipation of an economic downturn, many companies’ first instinct is to focus entirely on implementing cost-cutting measures. While that will inevitably be necessary, businesses should also consider taking immediate steps to improve customer experience (CX) prior to a downturn — and thereby gain efficiencies and cost savings, while retaining loyalty and revenue.
DemandLab CEO, Rhoan Morgan, recently interviewed Jeanne Bliss, Founder and CEO of Customer Bliss, for the Revenue Rebels podcast. Jeanne has a unique perspective on this topic as a pioneer in customer experience who led the function for a number of top brands known to be ‘recession-proof’ including Lands End, Mazda, and Microsoft. Bliss shared her insights regarding CX during times of uncertainty with listeners:
What generally happens in an economic downturn is that new customer growth diminishes and there is an increased awareness and appreciation for organic growth through honoring and nurturing a brand’s existing customer base. Brands will come to realize that organic or ‘customer asset growth’ is just as important as incoming acquisition-based growth. I’ve been espousing and proving the return on investment (ROI) in focusing on the customer base for many years–and it is finally getting support and acknowledgment from CEOs and CFOs.
The brands that will survive–and even thrive–during these uncertain times are those that are agile enough to shift their business strategies to reflect the realities of the new marketplace while still delivering a seamless, satisfying customer experience.
Jeanne Bliss advocates for getting back to basics when it comes to a brands’ customer experience, noting that “It’s the end game that matters, it’s not the tactics to get there. It's becoming unforgettable, acting admirably, being brave, showing up differently in the marketplace, being really clear about your place in people's lives and then having a very specific lens for everyone's decisions about how you will and will not get there.”
In her recent blog, “In this time of coronavirus…,” Bliss offered businesses advice on how to become unforgettable during times of uncertainty:
In our lives, we remember the companies, the people and the times when we were honored…as a friend, as a partner, as a customer. Two-way trust, open and honest communication and fearless sharing are cornerstones of the relationships that come to mean the most to us. These feelings hold just as true in the relationships we have with the people we hold dear in our lives, as the people that we do business with.
Listen to the full Revenue Rebels podcast episode to learn more about Jeanne Bliss and find out why she is widely known as the “Godmother of Customer Experience.”
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