The Pandemic Redefines Loyalty For Brands

The coronavirus pandemic shows no signs of disappearing. With contagion and spread rates have been slowing down all around the world, regions are already facing the second CVODI wave. For businesses, the situation is challenging to manage. Surviving the first wave of lockdown and quarantine hasn’t been easy. A lot of small companies and independent businesses have been forced to take drastic measures, such as letting teams go, to recoup some of the losses. Others have not been able to reopen. The pandemic has been the last straw for struggling businesses that have now gone bankrupt. 

Yet, even if you’ve been able to reopen your companies, the survival path is paved with obstacles. For brands, surviving and keeping the business afloat is a priority. Most countries and regions have made grants available to support struggling businesses. Entrepreneurs can expect to find small financial relief to help with rent payments or the introduction of new health requirements. Investors are also joining the economic support, through crowdfunding platforms and crypto investments to protect the global economy. There is, however, only so much you can achieve with financial assistance. For a start, monetary aid is limited, as most states are already running high debts. Additionally, ad hoc cash flow boosts can provide the long-term stability businesses need for their recovery. If businesses are going to survive the pandemic loss, they need to build a supportive network. They need to refine business loyalty to create the sturdy foundations of their post-pandemic growth. 

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Consider negotiating payment delays

What costs do companies face as they plan their recovery from the pandemic? The first and most crucial factor is that the coronavirus crisis has shattered the economic stability. People have been staying at home, avoiding unnecessary purchases. While we’ve passed the first virus wave, a lot of customers are still cautious about visiting shops and buying new items. As such, it can be tricky to build a new strategy on an uncertain path. Most tips for businesses to survive a rocky economy suggest negotiating payment delays. Companies that are in a commercial lease can reach out to their landlord to review their options. It’s in landlords’ best interest to keep their tenants, even if it means decreasing the monthly rent. Suppliers are also open to negotiations, especially as many can’t afford to lose a contract. Yet, offering payment delays or discounts can be beneficial to keep both parties in business. The process can be challenging, but now is the time to build new loyal connections with your business partners so that everybody can survive. 

Don’t sacrifice quality

The customers who loved your brand and products before the pandemic are keen to return to the businesses they trust. Keeping their trust in a post-pandemic world can be challenging. It is tricky to maintain consistent product quality when you are running on a tight budget. However, loyal customers are not ready to compromise on the quality of your products and services. Many appreciate that you can’t meet the pre-pandemic production volume and pace as you need to accommodate delays for supply sourcing, health and safety regulations, social distancing practices. As such, manufacturers will need to reduce production volumes to maintain quality. But you can reassure customers by turning delays to your advantage and emphasizing your commitment to health. For instance, quality controls now need to include contagion checks and decontamination processes to guarantee the safety of all. 

Don’t keep bad news secret

Now, more than ever, delay and production mishaps are likely to happen. You only need one person to be contaminated for the entire production process to be put on hold until the situation has cleared. As a result, your customers will potentially face unexpected delays. However, the last thing you want is to hide the truth from them. Don’t let them wait and get frustrated as the delivery never happens. On the contrary, when a customer asks where their order is, you have already failed to earn their loyalty. Instead, embracing a policy of complete and total transparency with your customers can transform the situation. Sharing your limitations openly will help them prepare for eventual frictions. You could, for instance, let them know that your main supplier is having problems meeting your volume demands. The process doesn’t serve as a blaming game and pointing fingers exercise. On the contrary, it explains that you may not be able to finish production on time. You can even share an estimate of your worst-case scenario so that your audience is in the know. 

Survival in a post-pandemic world is all about creating a loyal network to grow. Loyalty is built in honest truths, from sharing your financial struggles with your landlord to ask for a discount to informing customers about production changes that can cause delays while maintaining quality. The lesson is that you can’t expect to stick with your brand because they liked your post-pandemic performance. Instead, convince them to stick with you because you are doing everything possible to make it work. 

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