No one likes being left in the dark, especially when it comes to changes with their favorite business. Whether it’s rising prices, policy changes or shifts in leadership, your customers will have thoughts and concerns.
By tossing those updates at them at the last minute, you run the risk of creating bad blood. This is why it’s important that you communicate change to customers efficiently.
That’s not to say that making adjustments to how you do business is out of the question. After all, with growth comes change, and growth is great.
Help your customers see that change is also a good thing by walking them through the adjustment stage. Here are 6 ways to ensure your business communicates changes to your customers professionally.
Give Notice Well Ahead of Time
Have you ever visited your vet’s office only to find your favorite veterinarian was no longer there? Or perhaps you pulled up your bank statement and the price of your puppy plan is $5 higher than it normally is.
If you’re anything like me, you’d say something similar to “Oh no, honey. I’ll pay today, but I’m going to have to find somewhere else.”
Now, is the $5 going to break my wallet? No. However, the lack of communication breaks a level of trust. Don’t wait until your customers are pulling up and discovering service changes on their own. Give your customers plenty of notice before you decide to implement change.
Three months is a great rule of thumb. That way they can mentally adjust to whatever change is coming. This is also great for those who don’t stop in for services on a bi-weekly or even monthly schedule.
Again, the goal is to NOT catch them off guard with these changes and leave a sour taste in their mouths.
If you’re a mobile detailer and decide to raise the price on packages, your customers are going to be curious about what’s in it for them.
There’s a chance they’ll put up less of a fuss if you explain the $10 increase you’re planning is because you’re adding a water filter and higher quality conditioner to protect their paint job.
Welcome Feedback Before the Change
You want to bring your customers into the conversation. While their input may not cause you to ax the change altogether, it could help in giving you a better view of how that change could be better implemented.
Create a questionnaire or chat with them when they stop by. Take the feedback to your stakeholders for consideration before you make the final push.
There’s a high chance your customers gave you something worth adding to your plans. Perhaps they even let you know this change is one that wouldn’t be of benefit to them at all and you can scrap it, saving your business time and money.
Communicate the Change — A Lot
Your customers have their communication preferences. While you may not have the time to target 101 campaigns for each type, you can make a plan to touch each communication channel at least once.
While communicating this change, make sure you are customer-centric in your delivery. Be transparent, don’t talk over their heads and make sure it feels personal.
More importantly, be available to answer any questions and concerns they have regarding the changes — no matter how odd the question may be.
73% of consumers are willing to pay more for a product that offers complete transparency.
Don’t Over Promise
We get it. You’re ambitious, but don’t let your mouth promise something your plans can’t back up. Stay realistic about the change and the magnitude it will impact your customers.
If you under-deliver you’ll end up with:
- Depleted credibility. Yes, your credibility is on the line. If you can’t retain trust, how will you grow your business? Keep your promises or risk a high customer turnover rate.
- Negative reviews. An influx of bad reviews can cause you to miss out on landing potential clients. It can be a little tough to recover if you haven’t learned how to use negative reviews to your benefit.
- Decreased cash flow. Losing customers because of an unkept promise will surely shift your business’s finances. You don’t want to issue layoffs to balance your books later down the road all because you over-promised while planning out product and service changes.
Remember, your customers should be your greatest fans.
Always Follow Up
Get back in touch with your customers and pick their brains about what worked and what didn’t work. If your customers were turned off by the changes you made, it’s never too late to put in the work to win them back.
Your customers are a valued part of your business and when they feel valued and heard, it makes the transition easier for everyone.
However, it’s up to you, as the business owner, to ensure you’re properly communicating change to your customers.