We all know this year has been different. Many of us have put in extra hours trying to make sense of our businesses, of expenses and unpredictable income. Working from home might have plenty of benefits, but it also makes it difficult to focus, to communicate, and to stay connected with our coworkers and our customers. As we head toward the end of this year and look to new beginnings it is important to reflect on what we can do for ourselves, our businesses, and our customers to make sure we are prepared for post-pandemic renewal of services and relationships.

Throughout this past year, we have been learning to adjust to remote interactions, socially distanced communication, and virtual marketing for prospective and current customers. These changes, and the unpredictable nature of how our customers’ finances and priorities may have shifted, make it difficult to keep up efficiently with an uncertain clientele.

Let’s look at some of the prerequisites to effectively connecting and engaging with our customers, making psychologically relevant decisions that acknowledge and adapt to shifting markets and prioritize compassion and cooperation.The very first thing you can do if you want to be productive and successful is to take a moment to stop whatever it is that you’re doing. While this may sound counterintuitive, it is rooted in a human experience that we have all observed and encountered at some point in our lives. In times like this, figuring out what to do next is like finding order out of chaos. And if you feel like you are right in the middle of chaos, then any action you take won’t serve to calm the storm, but to add to the turbulence.

It is an unfortunate symptom of our times and society that many people have lost cultural and spiritual traditions that encouraged stability and community. For this reason, when we take the time to build up in ourselves the ability to take a deep breath and smile, we increase our resilience to crisis and complication, and we present to our friends, families, and customers a point of stability in a confusing and overwhelming world.

While you may not be religious, taking time to meditate, read, spend time on a hobby, or just take a warm bath can do wonders for your psyche, and prepare you to face the troubles of the day head on. Find what works for you, make it routine, and you will be on your way to sustainable and effective engagement and connection, not only with yourself, but with all people in your life.You know your business inside and out. It’s yours, your creation, your investment, your passion, and knowing it intimately means you know what it can do for your customers. But, what do your customers think? What are their concerns? What are their limits? The only way you can find out is to start with open ears and a silent tongue.

In the world of marketing, it is easy to get lost in clever phrases, startling graphics, and other memorable advertisements. These can be useful tools, and they help to draw prospects to your company and services as opposed to your competitors’. What many companies lack, however, is a comprehensive transition from catchphrase to customer relations. You’ve got them on the hook, but what next? What do you provide that your competitors do not?

No matter how large your company is or how inexperienced, you can always add this most essential characteristic: compassion. Critical thinking and problem solving always begin with gathering information. When these involve people, the best way to gather information is to have conversations, to get to know your customers and let them get to know you, to individualize your product or service. In a word: to collaborate. Involve your customers in the process, and use their insight to create the best product or service possible for them. People come back because you stand out, and the most meaningful way to stand out, no matter how small or new your business, is to listen first, then speak.Connecting and engaging with customers in this liminal time of year can be difficult. Adjusting budget, staffing, product design, marketing strategies, all of this requires a great deal of thought and intentionality. This is why getting external input is essential to success in the new year, whether this is asking your friends and business partners for advice, or contacting a professional consultant to help you get your footing.

Courtney at CSD Marketing and Consulting has extensive experience with a variety of entrepreneurs, with methods that are constantly evolving and improving, catered to your needs. Fill out an inquiry form today to learn how to connect and engage with your customers in ways that improve your business, yourself, and the lives of your investors.