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Keeping customers loyal in a down economy

How can we take into account the impact the current economy has on our customers spending habits and loyalty, and how should we approach the customer experience in the current economy?

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Let me suggest a simple way to approach the customer experience in a down economy. Let's assume that we will not obtain new customers under the current economic conditions. All we have are our current existing customers. Let's also assume that our competitors will be going after our current customers more fiercely than ever before. Both assumptions are fair. In light of those things, the quality of our customer's experiences becomes very critical. As a company, we are in defense mode, protecting the business we already have. If our customer's spending gets tighter, they will opt to move to cheaper alternatives faster if they do not see sufficient value through the customer experience we deliver. These customers may be less forgiving and every mistake may be a good excuse to leave our business for cheaper alternatives. The economic conditions we all face make the customer experience more critical then ever before. We have far less room for errors and mediocrity.

Editor's note: Listen to a podcast on creating value for customers in a down economy.

This was first published in October 2008

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