How to Keep Customers When You Move Your Business
Sometimes you don’t have a choice when it’s time to move your business to a new location. This can happen when you’ve outgrown your old office space, rented or leased a bigger space than needed, or because the location of your current space just isn’t right.
Moving is a stressful time for a business and there are always challenges: hiring movers, managing moving insurance, and more can leave companies feeling overwhelmed and frustrated. It is important, however, to remember that customers need to be the priority. After all, if customers don’t move with you – or if you are unable to bring in new customers at your new location – your business will not thrive, or possibly even survive.
But how do you move your business without losing all of your customers?
Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
The first step is to make sure your customers know about the move. You should plan this sort of communication just as carefully as you would plan a product launch. Determine the best way to reach customers to spread your message.
Make sure the last date in your old location is clear; if there is going to be a time gap before your new location opens, make sure customers know. Reach out to crucial clients and find out if there’s anything they need before the closure happens.
Being consistent and considerate during a move will help customers retain trust in your business. Remember, the onus of communication is on you, not the customer.
Use Multiple Channels
Customers use multiple channels to communicate, and businesses need to reach out in as many of these channels as possible. Given how busy people are, they might miss an email and a social media post, but may see and recognize a text message.
A few ways to communicate your upcoming move:
- In location signage
- Email blast
- Social media posts
- Text messaging (for those who have opted in)
For your most important clients, it might be appropriate to call them directly. Find out if they have any questions, or if there’s anything that they’ll need from you.
Tout Benefits of New Location
Will your new location have more parking, better accessibility, or easier access to public transportation? Let your customers know as this can help them understand why you’re moving. Has business been so great that you’re looking to expand? Thank your customers for sticking with you all these years.
On the other hand, if there are problems with your old location, let your customers know that as well. You don’t have to dish on a lousy landlord, but say, for example, “Many have struggled to reach us during the winter months; our new location will have significantly easier access during winter storms.” This can help customers understand what’s going on.
Make it Easy for Customers
Don’t make your customers guess what’s going on. Be clear about dates, times, and places. If there’s an inventory sale to make it easier for the move, be incredibly clear that this is about reducing pre-move inventory, not about closing or liquidating. If there’s a cutoff date when clients need to place orders to make sure everything is ready for the move, be clear about that. Again, let your most important clients know by phone what’s happening so that they can get what they need before it’s too late.
Get your social media updated with your new location immediately.
Update Your Branding
A new location means new business cards, new envelopes, new mailing supplies, and more. Companies sometimes try to dodge the printing costs and plan to use up old materials, but this is a terrible idea.
Customers will be confused by old addresses and outdated directions. As much as it might hurt, getting rid of the materials and getting new ones is the right choice. Budget the cost as part of your moving expenses.
Plan for IT Outages
Your website may be down for a time until you can get your infrastructure set up at your new location. Even offsite hosting and backups can be interrupted while you move. Communicating with any service providers about what’s happening will minimize confusion and frustration.
Make sure that your website has, at the bare minimum, a “we’re moving!” page in place if the website itself will go down. The last thing you want is for customers to visit your website and think your business has unexpectedly closed.