Tuesday, April 10, 2012

5 ways to talk to customers in a tough economy

What you say to customers now can help your brand emerge stronger as the economic climate improves.

Continuing my series on personal interaction, this advice from the Harvard Business Review blog is a couple of years old -- but still quite relevant as many customers continue to feel economically squeezed.

Here are 5 things to keep things in mind:
  1. Be empathetic — without being pathetic. Forgo messages implying customers should help you reduce inventory. Instead, tell them about well-deserved bargains.
  2. Offer real assistance — not happy talk. Companies that can make their promises tangible can gain an advantage.
  3. Adjust to your customers' changed behaviors. They are probably at work longer, shopping for discounts, and eating out less. Bring the conversation to them.
  4. Address people's attention deficit. Time-starved, on-edge consumers value advertising that's quick and to the point.
  5. Say something. Research shows that most companies that "go dark" during a downturn damage customer relationships.
 Read the full article at blogs.harvardbusiness.org


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