During an economic downturn, companies begin to shift their focus from obtaining new customers to strengthening and maintaining their relationships with existing customers. In addition, the customer experience becomes even more important, as it is one of the top reasons customers choose one company over the other.
Research has found that during times of uncertainty:
- There is increased anxiety which causes a decrease in customers’ attitudes.
- Customers are more likely to search for alternatives.
- Customers then evaluate their current provider against the results of their search for alternatives.
This comparison of your company to the competition can lead to either an increase or decrease scores.
- Companies in highly competitive markets
-Could see a decrease in customer perceptions if the company is not outperforming the competition, as customers find better alternatives in their search.
-Could see an increase in scores if the company is outperforming the competition.
- Companies that have little or no competition can still be impacted by this dynamic.
-Customers who already feel they are not receiving the best value from the product/service are likely to become even more resentful of their expenditure.
Since customer behaviors, attitudes, and perceptions have a tendency to change during an economic downturn, it is important to survey customers to insure you are maintaining and strengthening relationships. Tune-in next week for a discussion of the benefits of surveying during an economic downturn and the types of questions that you should ask.