You might not think a surge in demand for your services or products would be a bad thing. But if you’re not set up to cope with a spike in demand, then your reputation and your business could be ruined overnight. We all want our businesses to grow, but a sudden peak in customers could be enough to tip us over. Are you ready for a sudden rush or big order? Here’s how to overcome the challenges of extreme demand:
Every business owner is determined to grow. That puts you in a good place to know what to expect as your customer base expands. You’ll probably need the following:
- More supplies for more stock
- More employees
- Better delivery capability
- Better customer service provision
- A shift toward customer relationship marketing for future re-orders
So how can you have these things on standby when your current turnover simply can’t cover the cost?
Start with your stock and supplies. If you outsource your manufacturing, then make sure you regularly review your ordering capabilities. What is the turnaround for a temporary ramping up of demand? What promises can you make to your customers that your suppliers can guarantee to meet?
Agency staff can deliver employees in just twenty-four hours. The trouble is, you need to have the trained and productive quickly too. Review your training and safety manuals and check your in-house resources for managing more people.
If your delivery capabilities depend on a third party business, you might have to consider using additional services. Your business might need to utilize bigger trucks like flatbeds to shift stock or supplies around the country. Look at specialist truck firms for more information on the different vehicles that are available. Using a third party will always be cheaper than developing your own logistics division!
Developing effective marketing campaigns isn’t easy. But when it works, you’ll have a lot more customers to deal with. Not all of these customers will be 100% happy. Others will want to contact you to ask questions. You need to have the customer service team ready to tackle these inquiries. If you outsource this, make sure you have scripts ready, and answers to the typical questions they’ll face.
One sudden surge in customers isn’t going to provide consistent long-term growth. But each of these new customers, if managed well, can become customers for life. Every business should have a good customer relationship marketing program in place. Regular communications and special promotions can help retain customers. This increases the lifetime value of each customer. That boosts your return on investment from that original campaign.
One of the best ways to handle any surge in orders is to have everything in place before it happens. You might not expect this spike in demand, but if you’re prepared for it, it won’t catch you off balance. Make sure you have supplier details on hand, and that your business is set up to ramp up should orders suddenly exceed held stock. Always be transparent and honest about any delays the customer may experience. Communication is key.