Customers are gold.

Needless to say, this is a challenging time for customers. Just as you’re facing difficult financial circumstances, each of your customers are most likely facing the same thing. This will require you to strike a very delicate balance between two things:

  • Helping as Much as You Can: helping customers through the hard time as much as you can. As we noted in other sections, you need to do whatever you can do to preserve your customer relationships.
  • Asking for Payment: asking your customers for payment – even if it is a small one or over the course of time.

“We WILL get through this together.” 

It seems inappropriate at times to ask for money when everyone is struggling. But we are all in this together. So when you do ask for money or payment from customers, remember the following:

  • Be Empathetic: tell your customer that you understand what they are going through.
  • Communicate Your Dilemma – You are In the Same Boat: communicate that you have expenses and employees that you need to care for. Mention that you understand that this is technically not their problem but help them understand that you are both in the same boat.
  • Commit Additional Products or Services They Need: if you customer needs something now that they cannot afford, perhaps you can give it to them. Ask for payment for past products or services as part of providing them with something they need now.
  • Spread out Payments: space out their payments so you can get some cash flow flowing.
  • Suggest Credit Card Payments: many credit card companies are allowing for deferral of credit card payments so you may be able to charge their card and not have to pay for some time.
  • Provide Deep Discounts for Payment: if customers have some available cash, offering a discount for payment may work for everyone.

Understand the dilemma but try to be creative to bring in some cash from customers.

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