I recently was quoted in a Wall Street Journal article that described some innovative ways that organizations are helping their unemployed customers/clients. The organizations cited, which include a non-profit, are providing services that range from career counseling, to access to job-based resources, to training that will keep technical skills current.
These organizations provide wonderful examples of how to think creatively and innovatively, and to leverage opportunities spawned by the economic downturn. Here are a few of my learning points from this story:
1. The economic downturn provides plenty of opportunities that can be leveraged for the greater good.
We find the things that we seek. Are you searching for available opportunities or bemoaning the potential obstacles to success?
2. NOW is exactly the right time to be thinking long-term instead of short-term.
Are you stunting future growth by focusing too narrowly on the short-run?
3. This is exactly the right time to invest in the future.
A relatively small investment now will have a huge return for these organizations when the economy turns around. Not only will they have loyal customers for life, they will benefit from the on-going, invaluable publicity generated by the grateful recipients of their assistance. Given the choice, wouldn’t you rather do business with an organization that is known for helping people when they’re down?
Exceptional customer service is an extremely effective way to build brand loyalty, especially when the products or services in question are commodities. Although not everyone can provide the services that the organizations in this story have done, the question is this: what are you doing to take care of your customers in this economy?
© 2009 Pat Lynch. All rights reserved.