Forget almost everything you thought you knew about consumers. Since March 2020, they’ve reinvented their focus and are hardly the predictable buyers they once were.
According to recent research from McKinsey and Company, shoppers are taking the art of freethinking to new levels. Three-quarters are experimenting with new brands and chucking old loyalties.
If you’ve ever wanted to capture more of the market and get your brand seen by different audiences, now is the moment you’ve awaited. However, you have to understand what your customers want in order to woo them successfully.
Below are several ways that you can become the hero your marketing target personas didn’t even know they needed.
1. Offer omnichannel support and engagement.
In the same McKinsey study mentioned above, respondents noted that they are more open to omnichannel contact with brands than ever. Therefore, you may need to put software in place to enable your customer experience teams to seamlessly work with customers via text, email, social media, or within your company’s app.
Being present and available on multiple channels enables you to ensure that users feel as if you understand them. And that’s a key to fostering long-term loyalty and fandom.
2. Help your sales team impress prospects.
We’ve all had the disappointment that comes from trying to buy from a company that stinks at selling. Instead of asking your sales employees to develop their own sales styles and protocols, create a streamlined approach they can all use. Consistency will help you predict future sales revenue, not to mention highlight those workers who may need a little assistance and training.
Be sure to investigate sales tools to make this process easier. Today’s high-tech answers can make converting prospects much simpler and more foreseeable.
3. Revamp your target customer profiles.
Has it been quite a while since you developed customer profiles for your target bases? Or has it at least been since the beginning of 2020? You likely need to revamp them, making adjustments for the way the coronavirus has shaped shopping behaviors and attitudes.
Customer profiles help you drill down into the consumer mindset, enabling you to better understand buyers’ needs. You can make yours as specific as needed. Some companies generate full-fledged, highly specific target customer profiles while others prefer to have more generic ones. Regardless, make sure you dust yours off because chances are strong that they’re outdated.
4. Update tired messaging.
After reviewing your customer base and profiles, think about the messaging you’ve been using. Does it hit the mark anymore? Is it slightly tone deaf, especially in light of social unrest? Go back through your blog posts, social media posts, images, and other copy and photos. Then, make edits as needed.
In terms of future copywriting and branding, keep COVID-19 and other news items in mind. You may want to rethink the way your content reads, or even remove some verbiage that no longer seems appropriate. Even saying that something is “sick”, meaning “cool”, could appear callous given the medical emergencies around the globe. The last thing you want is to offend someone ready to buy your product or service.
5. Focus on your culture.
Every company has its culture. The best ones can define their cultures and always hire people who will be excellent champions of the organization’s values.
Consumers are increasingly interested in patronizing companies with values that align with their own and have been since before the pandemic. However, a potential shopper can’t know what your beliefs are if you don’t advertise and live them. Use your blog and social channels to showcase your business’s culture in order to attract like-minded customers.
6. Empower employees to make customer-centric decisions.
Are your team members empowered to take charge if a customer has a concern? Some of the best companies in the world are known for giving their workers tremendous leeway to impress guests. But that doesn’t mean employees can necessarily give away the store.
True staff empowerment involves both autonomy and guardrails. For instance, a worker may have flexibility to go the extra mile for a customer, but within preordained limits. This helps you feel more comfortable allowing your employees to use their skills without fearing they’ll go overboard. At the end of the day, the customer will still get a win—and hopefully so will your brand in the form of goodwill and maybe a rave review.
Customers have changed, along with the way the world operates. That doesn’t mean your business can’t still belong. In fact, consumers are amazingly open in their willingness to interact with new companies. Make sure you exceed their expectations with phenomenal first and lasting impressions.
Image credit: Andrea Piacquadio; Pexels