In the old days, hundreds of thousands of loyal office customers would walk into their friendly Pret a Manger store. They were greeted by an enthusiastic barista and would be handed a well-priced flat white in under two minutes. The same customer would be back for their lunch and probably return for a final caffeine hit mid-afternoon.
Now Pret has had to go into survival mode and has had to think out of the (lunch) box. It sells its coffee beans on Amazon; its products are available on food delivery platforms and it has even opened a ‘dark kitchen’. Its most headline-grabbing initiative has been its coffee subscription – all you can drink for £20 per month. Pret has had to adapt to survive.
Keeping customers loyal in changing times is not an easy feat to achieve. Nor is there a magic one-size-fits-all solution. However, when done effectively maintaining and even growing customer loyalty in difficult times will raise your brand above the competition and ensure your business’ continued success.
1. Take a Look at the Opposite – If your customers can’t get to you, how can you get to them? Opposite thinking will enable you and your team to challenge assumptions about the problem, develop possible solutions and come up with non-apparent ideas.
2. Ask Yourself ‘What are other people doing?’ – There are loads of examples of creativity – online concerts, virtual holidays, video consultations. What can you change to make your business work? Who is your business idol? What would they say and do? Look at Pret for starters!
3. And Don’t Forget to Keep innovating! – Historically, companies that kept the focus on innovation through a crisis emerged stronger. Use your flipchart and virtual whiteboard – Gather a broad collection of minds and specialities together to explore solutions – Diversity drives innovation.