The global pandemic has plunged your businesses into volatile market conditions. As consumer spending declines, you’ve instinctively turned toward cost-cutting strategies: scaling back on product offerings, downgrading quality, increasing pricing, and downsizing the workforce. Your leadership team has ramped up pressure on your staff to increase calls, close deals, hit targets, and sustain revenue, even as the market evaporates around them. Little direction has been provided on how to double, or even triple performance, other than a strong message of “figure it out, or lose your job”.
Meanwhile, your equally anxious customers are tightening the purse strings, and pivoting entire business models in desperation to remain open. With a necessities-only spending mentality, they’re assigning priority to low-cost, fast transactions, with quick ROIs. Compounding issues, they’re demanding flexible financing and longer repayment terms, or threatening to take their business elsewhere.
You both need each other to survive. So what is the key metric you should focus on? Morale! Countless studies have proven that humans crave the collective feeling of belonging, support, meaning, and enthusiasm, and that morale is critical to the success of a business.
Here are 3 easy ways to boost your team’s morale, your customer’s morale, and your revenue in the process:
1. Share Your Positive Attitude.
It may sound cliché, but “mind over matter” is a popular catchphrase for a reason: it works!
For Your Business: Does your team feel exhausted and depleted, or energized and enthusiastic? Working under pressure takes a toll, and people need to be reminded that they are valued, important, and contributing to a cause that matters. Call a team meeting or host a virtual happy hour and remind your staff how much you appreciate and value them.
For Your Customers: Stay in front of your current customers and send them a quick email thanking them for their continued business and support, and letting them know how much you appreciate them. Show your customers that you value their service, no matter how small, by treating them with enthusiasm and respect. Instead of making them feel cash poor, celebrate their patronage. They are feeling stressed and anxious, and a little positivity and appreciation will show them you care and reinforce your bond. Customers may never remember the things you said to them, but they will always remember how you made them feel.
2. Solicit Feedback.
People love to be heard, and to know that their feelings and thoughts matter.
For Your Business: Check in regularly with your employees to assess growth opportunities and troubleshoot obstacles. Single out one employee at a time, and ask them a direct question for feedback. Be specific. If you rarely solicit their opinions, it may take some time for them to feel comfortable being candid with you. Do this with each of your employees individually, regardless of tenure or title, until you’ve asked your entire team for feedback. Then start over. Get employees to solicit feedback from each other. Implement a 360-degree review system. The overall goal is to build trust and rapport.
For Your Customers: At the conclusion of every business transaction, send a survey, or a quick email follow-up to make sure they are satisfied. Call them up with no agenda other than to ask if they have any suggestions for improvement. You’ll receive free insight and data that other companies spend thousands on trying to guess what people want. Just ask!
3. Upgrade Your Story.
Your brand story should convey your passion and reason for doing what you do.
For Your Business: Believe in your team, and lead them to believe in something greater than themselves. Teach your team that their work matters, and together they can make a difference, by sharing stories that highlight the remarkable things your team members have done for your customers. Did a team member go above and beyond to deliver for a customer? Celebrate this at the beginning of your next team meeting! Did someone start a crowdfunding campaign for another team member in need? Circulate it! Who are the hidden heroes in your workplace? Spread their stories in internal communications, and post them on your company’s social media. Your belief in your team builds the type of energy your team members, and your customers, want to be a part of.
For Your Customers: During times of economic crisis, customers shy away from growth and branding strategies, and focus more on cost savings and ROI. Change your narrative from “best-in-class” to “low-cost solutions that deliver more for less” and your customers will feel like you understand them. Pitch affordability and solutions over luxury and indulgence. If you show your customers you can hook them up with cheap labor, inexpensive products, and unparalleled customer service, they will open their wallets.
Andrea A. Tarshus, Esq. began Tarshus Law Firm in 2015 to provide efficient, accessible, and fair General Counsel legal services to businesses and business owners. Tarshus Law Firm represents Western New York and Buffalo based businesses as well as large international and publicly traded corporations in industries such as: audio video ("AV"), products distribution, transportation and logistics, medical marijuana, marketing, social media, healthcare, and other sectors.
Andrea’s engagement with businesses regularly includes negotiating and executing favorable contracts, legal research and writing, project management, administering internal legal and operational controls, problem-solving, and strategizing. She enjoys working with business owners, C-suite executives, and company managers to create a comprehensive legal and business framework that supports operational efficiencies and strategies for growth.
This article is intended to be informational in nature, should not be relied upon by the reader without consultation with an attorney, and does not create an attorney-client relationship between the author and reader.