man playing chess

Many in the professional cleaning industry report they are swamped right now with end-customers asking them to help clean, disinfect and sanitize their facilities. However, at the same time, they realize the United States has come to a virtual standstill and no one knows when some semblance of normality will return. So, what should jan/san and other B2B organizations be doing right now to retain jobs, maintain operations and, most importantly, hold on to customers?

Robert Kravitz, president of AlturaSolutions, a marketing content communications firm serving the professional cleaning industry, says jan/san businesses should take the following six steps:

1.Keep the marketing momentum going

There is case after case where companies stopped advertising and stopped marketing in a downturn and never resurfaced. They went dark. Consumers forgot about them.

2. Shift marketing tactics

Many marketers are sending out mass emails, addressing the crisis and ways their products can tackle the challenges it has created. Consider other tactics as well, such as a short video. Videos tend to be more personal, show a company cares and want to help during this difficult time.

3. Stay in touch

Many suppliers have sent emails to customers stating the many implications of the virus and current shutdown. But don’t stop there. Send occasional updates, words of encouragement and recent restrictions that may impact a customer's businesses or the industry.

4. Cut through the chatter

There is a lot of noise out there right now about the virus and many end-customers are starting to tune out. While it is essential to stay in touch, make sure communications have a purpose and are timely. Occasional means occasional: updates every few weeks should be fine.

5. Get personal

Select a handful of customers every day and contact them by phone or email, to ask how they are doing. One-to-one correspondence can be very powerful in times like this.

6. Handle anticipated cancellations

Some end-customers may be putting a hold on purchasing new products or services. Many times, sending them a discount toward a future product or service can help keep operations going.

“Be sure not to come across as opportunistic," says Kravitz. “Stay helpful, show you are concerned and offer a helping hand if you can.”