Relocating can be an incredible boon to companies. They can reduce their operation costs by moving to a new, more affordable facility, they can improve accessibility to public transportation or walkable areas, and they may be able to expand their operations in a new area.
Companies relocate their headquarters and entire production processes to take advantage of the cost savings. But relocating can also be confusing for customers and can make it more difficult for a business to retain its customers base. This can ultimately put a company in danger of going out of business, if the relocation isn’t handled properly.
These five tips will help you get your business to its relocation without decimating your customer base.
It is absolutely crucial that you communicate your move to all of your customers as thoroughly as possible. This means that you communicate:
• Across multiple channels
• Multiple times
Your customers should know, way ahead of time, that you’re moving. Email blasts, social media announcements, and website banners should all be utilized to communicate the details of your move: when it’s happening, where you’re going, and any time when your website will be down or you will be closed for business.
2. Notify priority customers of disruptions personally
Your most important customers should be treated with the most respect; this means that you should personally contact your keystone customers and make sure they know the move details. Ask them if there’s anything they’ll need during any times when you’ll be closed. Consider offering them a discount if they place an extra order to get them through until you have reopened.
The key here is to make sure to speak to a customer directly when possible. Yes, this is some extra effort, but given the importance of these customers, a little extra effort should be worth it.
3. Move carefully
Whether you’re moving store inventory or office computers, make sure that you – and your movers – are careful with the things you’re moving. Disruptions because you need to place a huge amount of inventory or a crucial piece of your supply chain aren’t going to make a move any easier, and can cause you to lose customers that you need.
Make sure to vet your movers, get recommendations and referrals, and be clear about what needs to be moved. This helps your movers to be prepared, which helps your property to get from one place to another safely.
4. Be aware of market shifts
Depending on how far your business is moving, you may see a real change in what the market expects. IF a company moves from a small town to a bigger city, for example, they may see a change in what is expected in terms of dress code or overall appearance. In some areas, customers expect to be greeted as soon as they enter in a store; in other areas of the country, such behavior is considered offputting and poor customer service.
Even if you’re just moving across town, you may see a difference in customer behavior. You might get more walk-in customers who need to be handled differently than customers who have driven specifically to your location.
Of course, this applies less to businesses which are primarily moving office space from one location to another, especially when they are moving within the same town or community area.
5. Look for new customers
When you move to a new space, you may be able to access customers who you have not previously connected with. For example, when you were across town, trying to attract foot traffic may not have made as much sense as now, when your store is located in the open air market. Being close to a hotel that is known for its big events might change how you market your catering business. And having a new, more accessible space might change which magazines are targeted for advertisements.
The most important factor in a big move is to keep your customers informed of whatever you’re doing. If you have a good, information relationship with your customers, give them not just the where and when of the move, but the why. Let them know that you’ve found a new space with beautiful lighting where they’ll be better able to relax. Tell them that the new space has a big increase in parking to make their visit easier.
Letting your customers know why things are happening will dramatically increase the odds that they’ll follow you through the move into your new location. They may even be willing and able to bring new customers along with them. But letting them know what’s going on, planning out your move carefully, and knowing what the new market will bring are all key steps towards making that process work smoothly.