why should you care?

Billionaire investors, former Federal Reserve officials, and even investment banks warned us about a recession in 2023. In fact, a prediction is quite impressive, with an 80% chance of it happening by next year.

Multiple factors lie at the core of these predictions. However, the two major ones are the war in Ukraine and the buildup of momentum in elevated inflation. On top of that, the recent GDP growth forecast is 3.2% for 2022 and 2.1% for 2023 (from 3.9% and 2.7%, respectively).

Whether you believe that the Fed will be able to fix it or not, you need to prepare your business for this situation. Having a plan of action that can be executed without panic can save your company.

We at The Elite CXS Group have been working at the forefront of customer experience with companies like yours since 2009. We analyzed factors that could help you strive in this recession. Take a look at our conclusions and see how you can implement some of these ideas.

We focus on a proactive approach, as it is easy for senior executives to forget about the company’s future and focus on surviving from one day to the next. We all have fires to put out, right? Nevertheless, we understand the importance of seizing opportunities before they become mainstream and would like to give you our take on this.

Crises = Opportunity

Economic crises and quickly changing customer needs open up countless new opportunities and present a perfect time to seize them. Companies that focus on their daily struggles and leave the future in the future miss out on many opportunities. It is very easy to fall into the trap of “this is not going to happen to us” when warnings about recession are still only warnings. However, from experience, you need to take it seriously and explore these opportunities.

Investing in a time of crisis seems ridiculous at first. However, investments made today in R&D and information or production technology will often bear fruit only after the recession is past. Waiting means compromising your ability to capitalize on opportunities when the economy rebounds.

80% of companies seek survival via improving existing processes. 14% put their faith in developing “radical,” market-changing innovations in products and processes. Guess which group is more successful? Not the majority. They can be called survivors, but surely not winners.

How do you explore these opportunities when it seems like the economy is taking the wrong turn?

To start with, you need to dedicate time to research. Sit down with your executives and develop at least 3 scenarios of the recession, from mild to awful. Understand which one is more likely to happen in your industry. Try to assess the threats you face when it happens. Write them down, and for each of these threats, come up with ideas of how you can fix or prevent it from happening.

In some cases, you may need to pivot. In some — understand your clients’ upcoming needs and address them in time. Not doing anything, closing your eyes, and hoping for the best is not a long-term solution.

Think back to the very beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic. Those who quickly invested — came out on top. Those who joined the ride later couldn’t compete on the same level and are still playing catch up.

mystery shopping

Uncover valuable insights with our tailored mystery shopping programs, designed to measure and enhance your customer service excellence

employee engagement

Boost your team’s morale and productivity with our employee engagement solutions, fostering a workplace culture that drives success.

Employee Motivation & Retention

Employee commitment has a decisive influence on the success of your business. Remember that they are facing a recession too. This can be a scary time for them. They may lose sight of the vision of the company they work for, and that may lead to the loss of their “inner motivation.” This can happen with or without a recession, of course. However, if they lack the sense of fulfillment that comes with making worthy contributions they might feel trapped (as a recession is a scary time to change careers) and as a consequence, not feel like doing their job.

This is especially dangerous in regards to customer-facing employees.

A simple smile from your staff as your client enters your shop can significantly impact your reputation. Reputation can make or break your company, especially in times of crisis.

To keep your employees happy, you need to focus on:

  • Measuring the engagement and satisfaction of your employees with your brand and organization

  • Garnering insights from your employees for continuous business improvement and risk mitigation

  • Linking the impact of employee satisfaction to customer satisfaction, costs (e.g., labor), revenue, and profit.

Whether you choose to do it yourself or go for a reputation management service provider like ourselves, you need to consider these points. This way, you will be able to come out of the recession with more loyal employees than ever.

Improve Quality Or Reduce Prices

That is the question… Usually, if a company wants to win market share, it can achieve this by improving quality or reducing prices. The competitor positioned immediately next to it will be forced to follow suit, triggering a chain reaction in the entire market. This process is happening very fast nowadays and results in so-called “hyper-competition” (yes, even in a recession). Companies must now accept a lower price point for the same level of quality or maintain the original price point but give the customer a higher quality product.

Reducing prices in a recession is very risky. Improving quality is a viable option. However, that requires time, and if you have not been investing in research and development until now — that could be hard to implement quickly.

There is another way, though. Improving quality through customer experience. In fact, the latest study has shown that customer experience leaders generated a total cumulative return that was 3.4 times greater than that of the customer experience laggards. The field of work here is so vast that you could adapt your strategy to almost any budget.

When customers complain — it’s good. This means they are willing to continue working with your brand if their needs can be satisfied. It’s worse if they don’t complain and simply go to your competition. Look through their complaints, analyze their current needs and implement changes. Sometimes it might involve a slight re-structure, sometimes — investment into technology, sometimes it can be as simple as replying to their reviews.

Always remember that how people remember the customer experience is arguably more important than the experience itself.

Don´t Sacrifice Marketing Efforts

Companies that injudiciously slash marketing spending often find that they later must spend far more than they saved to recover. As we are now coming out of the pandemic crisis, we can clearly see that those who stayed in the marketing game recovered faster.

For example, many businesses stopped advertising as soon as COVID-19 hit. However, they forgot that people forget very quickly. Imagine if you are a cafe that now people can’t go to. If you stop and disappear from people’s view — they will forget about you. As soon as they can go to a cafe, guess which one they will go to? They will go to the one who has been “talking” to them. Even if you start advertising again, it will be too late when the crisis is over. With the help of clever marketing, you can not only sell your services but also become THE ONE for your target audience. You could support them when they face hard times. You can stay in the loop of the community you are targeting.

So what do you do? Of course, this heavily depends on the nature of your business. However, the main thing is not to panic. You know that a crisis is coming, and you need to budget for marketing. It is essential and not something that can be simply taken out.

Remember that sales is only a small part of marketing, and there are many other things you can do.

customer satisfaction

Elevate your customer satisfaction levels with our expert strategies and tools, turning satisfied customers into loyal advocates.


Our comprehensive auditing solutions ensure that your operations align with industry standards and best practices, safeguarding your brand reputation.

Customer Retention Through Customer Experience

Good customer experience creates loyalty, which drives your retention rate, and higher retention drives growth. Loyalty is critical in a recession because people have to give you their hard-earned money. They will only do that if they absolutely LOVE you. As we mentioned before, it is very easy for customers to leave in times of hyper-competition. It is even easier when their finances are limited.

Take a proactive approach and think about improving your CX now. You will definitely be able to maintain or even gain value during a recession.

Remember that your customers are now scared to spend as much money, so think about new ways to offer your product/service that focus on lower price points. Don’t be scared to get them to pay a smaller price to encourage their loyalty until they can pay the full fee again. You (and your team) need to treat them as if they were paying the full price to create a positive memory of your customer experience.

How do you ensure that everyone is on board with the new strategy? How do you know that all your employees are following the correct procedures? To start with, you need to arrange a meeting, almost like a workshop event, and make sure they understand the new rules, express their concerns and allow them to get on the same page. To monitor and improve, you can use mystery shopping to see a complete picture by measuring the customer experience level and consistency offered across locations. The quality of the customer experience delivered determines the price you can charge after the crisis.

Use Adequate Methods Of Customer Analysis

This is crucial, as many companies make this mistake. Customers’ true problems are often not accurately identified and transferred into product-service bundles that deliver value. Instead of focusing on latent needs, the process must recognize unconscious needs and relevant problems.

The actual problem could actually be easier to solve than the one that has been identified initially. You need to get your hands on quality customer research to avoid this.

When doing customer research, you can not simply ask anyone. Yes, you probably are aware that you need to ask your target audience, but it goes even deeper than that.

Even your target audience is segmented. For example, if you plan to introduce an innovative product, not all your customers will like it. Not because they will never like it, but because any new product adoption follows a natural bell curve. First, the innovators get interested in it, then — early adopters, then the early majority, etc. Therefore, selecting the right segment within your target audience is critical. Select innovators and early adopters for your research if you create something utterly new to target customers’ genuine problems in this complicated time. If you want to improve an existing product — select those who belong in the middle of the curve.

Give Your Customers Options

This is one of the most popular solutions. However, it works, and therefore, we can’t ignore it. If you can give your customers a cheaper option temporarily — do it. If you can offer them an alternative product/service that covers the same need — offer it. If you can offer them something them a financial plan — do so.

Remember that retaining a customer,even in crisis, is cheaper than gaining a new one. You need to identify a base of your loyal customers who are the primary source for their cashflows and growth and protect them.

You also show that you care and that you understand their problems by providing options.

This creates a sense of security, and they know that they can trust you forever. This also encourages them to talk to their friends and family about you. Word-of-mouth marketing in a recession is GOLD! To mine it — you need to be good to your customer, and you need to mean it.

Understand Your Customers Current Context

Context is a deep, data-driven understanding of a customer that positions a business to make relevant offers when the customer is poised to make a purchase. This context may shift once the recession hits. It’s essential to acknowledge how your solutions fit within a customer’s most pressing challenge. You can start by dividing your customers into two groups:

  • Those that find your product/service a necessity

  • Those for whom it is “nice to have”

The way you approach these groups will be different. Align your marketing strategy with the shift and utilize your revised buyer personas to develop empathy-based, contextual content that helps customers thrive during this strange time.

It All Boils Down To Customer Experience

As you can see, your company’s success in a recession comes down to the level of customer & employee experience. It truly is the number one differentiator for companies these days. Remember that taking a proactive approach, rather than just patching holes, can round off your business and make it recession-proof.

about elite CXS

Elite CXS stands at the forefront of customer experience solutions, offering innovative and tailored solutions designed to elevate your business.