The Customer is King: averting business collapse during COVID-19

By Emmanuel Allottey

Without customers no business can survive. The importance of customers to a business going concern has never been more pronounced than during the current operating environment where customers are reducing discretionary spending. The impact of COVID-19 on customer activity has led to businesses scrambling to find ways to keep their customers engaged. Customer spending has been stifled by movement restrictions and government-imposed lockdowns causing a reduction in profitability and if prolonged the possibility of business collapse.

According to reports, around 57 percent of businesses see their revenue drop by 75 percent or more due to Covid-19. More than half of small businesses believe it will take six months to a year before the business climate returns to normal. The inability of businesses to adapt to the changes in the operating environment and provide alternative methods to interact with clients will suffer eventual collapse.

Closer engagement with the Customer through the following tips will avert business collapse:

Customer feedback – proactive communication using different media to communicate must be an ongoing process for every business. Customers can be reached by phone, SMS, email and physical mail. Listen to your customers, make them feel heard, give them platform to share feedback and implement their suggestions.

Reward loyalty – acknowledge the customers loyal to your business. Businesses that introduce a personal touch in their interaction to clients will increase brand loyalty. Customers want to be acknowledged for their continued patronage.

Increased visibility - go to the customer if the customer can’t come to you. This can be done through delivery services. A platform or website where customers can place their orders and be confident of immediate delivery. This eliminates any movement barriers customers may be facing when considering purchasing from your business.

Aggressive advertising – businesses that have invested in their online infrastructure can resort to increased online advertising. Businesses should be prepared to offer incentives such as free shipping, free returns and ‘buy online, pick up in store’ services to attract shoppers. Increased personalized offers to customers significantly increases client satisfaction.

The COVID-19 recession is projected to stir up deeper financial troubles for Businesses. it remains to be seen what economic recovery will look like, and which businesses will reopen and be able to remain open, as coronavirus cases continue to increase. The businesses that will avoid collapse will be those that engage their customers and treat them as “King.”

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