The coronavirus pandemic has changed work as we knew it forever. Many professionals, from different industries, have adapted beautifully and are following effective work-from-home tips to go about their daily routine productively. While talks about the lockdown easing may be going on, remote working certainly isn’t coming to an end anytime soon.
A large number of companies have gone remote, and many are contemplating whether going back to the office is even necessary anymore. The remote setup, for example, is helping them save money – from office space rent and electricity to overhead costs.
Further, technologies such as collaboration platforms, video calling software, and cloud services have enabled employers to stay connected with their teams and complete projects, anywhere and anytime.
What is customer retention?
Simply defined, it’s the concept of dissuading customers from jumping ship to a competitor through a series of incentives and loyalty programmes.
Most businesses will often place more of their focus on acquiring new customers rather than solidifying the relationships they have with their current loyal customers.
In fact, reports suggest that up to 44% of businesses prefer to onboard new customers, while only 18% are spending their time developing an ongoing customer retention plan.
You’ve heard it a million times before, but it’s certainly true to say that customer retention requires much less time and capital than new customer acquisition, up to five times more in some cases.
Why is customer retention crucial?
Repeat customers are the bedrock of any business’ revenue stream. And the more frequently they buy from you, the more likely they are to do it again and again.
According to recent statistics, if customers buy your product or service once, they’re 27% likely to do so again. However, if you can persuade customers to make a second or third purchase, they are 54% more likely to continue buying from your business.
The positive news here is that you’ve already done the hard graft by getting the customer on board in the first place, and the statistics show that you’ll have an easier (and cheaper) time creating further purchase opportunities for current customers, rather than looking elsewhere for new ones.
Constructing your customer retention plan
The most effective customer retention plans run parallel to business goals and can be scaled and evolved. For instance, your goal may be to increase revenue by X amount in Y amount of time.
In this case, it’s a good idea to align your overall business and retention strategies to achieve this end. One of the things you may choose to do to this is to split your sales team into two groups — new sales and sales retention.
No matter the niche in which you operate, your business must carefully select goals that solidify relationships and increase customer retention. Now let’s explore seven ways in which you can build your effective customer retention plan.
But no matter how your business handles the coronavirus outbreak, you must always be prepared for increasing stress among remote employees. Insomnia, backaches, restlessness, and irritability are just some of the side effects that many professionals have reported feeling due to prolonged work from home. Did you know depression and anxiety cause a loss of over £0.81 trillion every year in terms of reduced productivity worldwide? Employee burnout is a severe condition affecting the global workforce today, and its impact goes far beyond the short-term physical effects such as headaches or lack of sleep and of course, mental health. As a business owner, you need to recognise the signs of employee burnout and take steps to address it so that your employees can feel secure and valued at work, especially in this environment.
1. Watch out for the signs
Employee burnout has physical signs that you should stay alert for. If your team members are calling in sick more often than usual, or if you find them looking exhausted over a video call or staying online for work to respond to emails during odd hours, they could be suffering from stress-related anxiety or depression.
Other warning signs include heightened irritability, lack of enthusiasm at work, or a tendency to get into frequent arguments with their peers during online meetings. While these could be passing phases, it is crucial for you as an employer to talk to your employees and ascertain whether or not they may be experiencing burnout.
2. Develop a suitable employee health insurance plan
Many employers provide medical insurance for their workforce – whether more basic plans to help with eye test bills and the like or more substantial ones to cover private medical treatment. By devising a comprehensive medical plan with significant benefits and easy-to-understand terms, your workforce will have access to private healthcare when they need it, and you will have a healthier workforce with reduced sickness rates.
3. Offer flexible working hours
Surveys indicate that an overwhelming majority of employees are ready to take on work-from-home opportunities that follow flexible timings. 75% of professionals believe that flexible timings make their job more attractive and help them be more productive.
Therefore, consider giving your team this option at least once or twice a week, and share work-from-home tips with them so they can utilise their time efficiently. This will especially help those employees who have families to take care of.
If they have the liberty to start work at 11 AM as opposed to 9 AM every second day in the week, for example, they will work better and also manage their home efficiently. They will be much better equipped to balance their work and personal lives while working from home without the associated stress.
Similarly, allow flexible working hours so that your employees can stop work early to spend time with family, or to relax and rejuvenate. By showing your team that you care about their personal lives, you can help them feel more comfortable and appreciated, and thus reduce the chance of workplace anxiety.
4. Encourage employees to take their holidays
We understand that going on holiday is not an option for now. Obviously, a vast majority of employees won’t even take off days at the moment.
One common reason for this is the fear of coming across as not hardworking enough. As an employer, you can dispel this notion by actively encouraging your team to take their annual leave – irrespective of how they spend their break at home.
Since the line between working days and off days gets blurred, have rules in place wherein employees on holidays should disconnect entirely from office emails and calls. Help them make the most of their time off!
This way, employees can enjoy their personal life without worrying about getting called back to work. And by separating their time from their working hours entirely, they are less likely to become stressed out or depressed.
5. Recognise and reward often
One primary reason for employee burnout is a feeling of under-appreciation at the workplace despite putting in an effort. You can address this by recognising, appreciating, and rewarding your employees wherever they deserve it.
With budget cuts, loss of potential revenues, layoffs and more, incentivising every win could be tricky. But you can give deserving employees public shout-outs on your office communication channels or have a virtual team recognition meeting where you can celebrate those who have done well.
Keep a note of such employees, and when the lockdown has been lifted, and the world has started to heal, you can also give them rewards, such as a gift voucher for a spa visit or dinner for two. Such gestures go a long way in boosting employee motivation and reducing depression.
6. Organise team-building activities
Many of your team members may feel disconnected from the others and thus are likelier to feel depressed at work. You can address this by organising online fun activities that allow everyone to bond.
For instance, you can host a session where your employees are divided into teams where you play games such as charades or Pictionary online. Organise these activities during work hours rather than on the weekends – this way, you respect your employees’ time and also help to make working from home fun for everyone.
For many professionals experiencing burnout currently, small changes in the work environment and management expectations can do wonders to reduce their stress and make them more productive.
Now is the time for you to do the heavy lifting for your employees, support them during their bad days, and follow these tips for working from home effectively. If you help them work harder from home today, you can ensure the success of your business tomorrow.
So, how are you helping your employees during the crisis? We would love to hear your best work from home tips!