Recessions are an inevitable phase of the economic cycle. Many economists are predicting late 2019 through 2020 as the most likely time for the next downturn.

That’s pretty soon. You need to start recession-proofing your business now.

When this recession hits, and demand for products like yours drops, you and your competitors will be fighting for a smaller pool of business. And the customers you will all be chasing will also be facing economic headwinds of their own.

You can’t control when a recession will hit, or how severe it will be. But you can control how it will impact your business.

The best thing you can do now to make your business recession-proof: Motivate customers to be committed to your company.

During a recession, customers scrutinize who they do business with, and how they allocate their precious financial resources.

If your customers love doing business with you, value their relationship with you, and believe that you are valuable to their own success – in other words, if they are committed to you – you will lose less volume and margin than if they see you only as a transactional “vendor.”

What Do Committed Customers Look Like?

Commitment is demonstrated through action. Here are some actions committed customers take:

  • Give you a substantial share of their love, loyalty and purchases.
  • Call you before calling the competition.
  • Tell people how wonderful it is to work with you.
  • Pay your prices without complaint.

And beliefs drive commitment. Committed customers believes:

  • They are better off because they work with you.
  • You are different – and better – than your competition.
  • You are their valued partner.

What Creates a Committed Customer?

Customers become committed to your company if their entire customer experience communicates a clear, compelling, motivating story that differentiates you from the competition. A powerful customer experience will encourage beliefs that motivate customers to act with commitment:

Rate your current customer experience.

    1. Does it inspire commitment?
    2. Is it clear, compelling and motivating?
    3. Does it differentiate you from the competition?

Your Team’s Role

As I wrote in a previous article, a committed team is the magic fuel of your company’s success. A committed team will deliver engaging customer experiences and motivate committed customers.

Everyone on your team needs to believe and act every moment of every day in ways that motivate customer commitment. You can’t motivate committed customers without an inspired, committed team.

Your Role as a Leader

To recession-proof your business, act with intention and focus most of your time, energy, attention and resources on inspiring a committed team and motivating committed customers. The result will be customers who stick with you when the inevitable downturn comes, protecting your revenue and your profitability.

Dedicate yourself now to customer commitment. It’s the best thing you can do for your business to thrive in these good times, and continue to thrive at times when your competitors will be focused only on surviving.

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