When Times Get Tough, The Tough Add Value

When times are tough, it’s more important than ever to make sure that you’re focused on your customer, whether your customer is someone who pays you money for a product or your customer is a co-worker who is relying on you for information or productivity.

When times are tough, it’s so easy to start focusing more on ourselves than on our customers. We develop a sense of self-protection at best, and complete panic/desperation at worst. Any inkling of these feelings can lead to a serious lack of customer focus.
Now is the time to really, really, really focus on your customer. What do they want and need from you right now? When you stop and examine this question, you may find that they want something sightly (or completely) different than what you currently offer them.

What do they need that you may not be offering?
Do they want things faster or slower than before?
Do they want things higher or lower quality than before?
Do they want things more expensive or less expensive right now? (before you say, “they always want things less expensive,” think about it. There are times people are willing to pay a premium and times they can’t pay as much).

In other words, what are they willing to pay for right now? It might be different that what you’re offering…or at a different price point. If you stand your ground too firmly and say, “I’m not going to lower my prices just because they don’t want to pay right now,” that might be good in principle, and you can stand on your principles while you stand in line at the unemployment office.

I’m not saying that you should lower your prices. But you should definitely consider alternatives and options about how you can help your customers during this tough time. Everybody is freaking out. If you are the one company that is thinking about new and different solutions to your customer’s problems, guess who they’ll be turning to now and in the future? Yep, it’s you, buddy.

We thought we’d share two things we’re doing at sparkspace to serve our guests even better during this tough time. Maybe it will inspire you to think of some new ways to serve your customers, too.

And who knows, you might even need these services!

We’ve Lowered The Rental Fee for our Board Room
Instead of our standard $65 per person rental fee (with a $250 minimum), we have lowered the rental fee for our Board Room to a flat $200 for full-day use of the room for up to 6 people. We’re running this price through April.

Yes, we’re hoping this generates some more rentals for us, but honestly, it’s not going to make us rich. Really, we’re just hoping it provides a much needed service at an affordable price for our guests who otherwise wouldn’t be able to visit us right now.

Something to point out: we are not slashing prices across the board. That would cheapen our product and cause us long-term damage. What we’re doing is modifying ONE of our products to provide a much needed service. When that is no longer “needed,” we’ll re-visit our pricing strategy for that room. For now, though, it’s a really good deal!

We’ve Added Video Conferencing
As we’ve been exploring ideas to serve our guests better, we’ve developed the belief that more companies are going to need video conferencing as a way to cut down on travel costs, improve communication, and maintain better connections between offices by at least being able to see each other face to face (even if it’s on a TV screen).

We’ve teamed up with webex to offer reliable, high-quality video conferencing at an affordable price. We provide everything you need on our end to send high quality video anywhere in the world. There is nothing needed on the other end of the video conference except a computer with a web cam, a conference phone, and a very quick software download.

The cool part about our video conferencing is that we can project the video on a big screen so it’s life-sized!

We’re Offering More Affordable Workshops
We’ve always believed that giving stuff away for free (or very inexpensively) creates a tremendous amount of energy. That’s why we’re offering more public workshops and teleseminars. The first two we announced filled up in less than a day. That told us people are starving for ideas, inspiration, connection, and hope. Fortunately for us, that’s the kind of stuff we love to provide. And the energy it creates is good for all of us.

In short, we should all be thinking of ways to add value and provide what our customers want and need right now. When the economy cranks back up and everyone has mountains of money again, I’m sure we can figure out some ways to help them spend all that cash. 🙂

For now, let go of any pride and fear that may be keeping you from re-thinking how you serve your customer. Focus on who you serve and pile on the value. This tough time won’t last forever, but the loyalty you can build during this time will far outlast the current downturn.


Here you'll find ideas, tips, and techniques to help make your next offsite your best meeting yet.We've learned a lot during the 15,000+ meetings we've hosted, and we never stop learning (and sharing) because meetings and teams are always evolving. Be sure to leave comments and join the conversation!