As September approaches, it’s suddenly feeling a little more ‘back to business,’ wouldn’t you say? The pandemic certainly hasn’t gone away, but with schools going back and people starting to return to work, we’re all adjusting to a new way of doing things.
As a business, the priority right now is truly understanding your customers. The world has changed, and it’s important that you have a clear sense of how your customers have been affected.
With this in mind, we’ve put together these 5 simple steps to help you get reacquainted with your customers:
STEP 1 – PREPARATION
Whilst people are starting to come out of ‘lockdown hibernation,’ it’s important to bear in mind that many are likely to have underlying anxiety about entering a shop or restaurant, so it’s vital that you spend time thinking about what their new needs and wants are, and how your business will adapt for any future change.
As people return to work and school, think about the range of emotions they will be feeling. What can your business offer that will help them feel at ease? How has your business had to adapt? How will the customer experience have changed? Make sure you have answers to all these questions – your customers want to know what they can expect from you!
STEP 2 – COMMUNICATE!
You’ve done your prep, but the key is COMMUNICATION! Think about the different channels your customers will be looking to, in order to find out about what you’re up to, and make sure your content covers everything from STEP 1!
Having clear and engaging content on your website is a good place to start, but you should also be making sure your social media posts are talking to your customers in the right way, as well as thinking about signage, window displays and telephone answering messages. Make sure each and every one of your channels gives them all the information they need to feel confident about spending money with you.
STEP 3 – MAKE SURE YOUR CUSTOMERS KNOW THE BEST WAY TO CONTACT YOU
Interestingly, we had a conversation with the Manager of a Bowling Alley recently. They told us that customers should be booking online for the easiest experience, but their phone was ringing constantly and people were getting frustrated that it wasn’t always answered. The point to this story, is that it’s important to use ALL your channels to communicate any changes to your opening hours and booking processes etc. so that your customers have a smooth and positive experience.
One thing you could think about is adding a ‘Live Chat’ function to your website. We’ve built this functionality in for a number of our shopping centre clients recently and we’ve had really positive feedback from Centre Managers who tell us how it’s been a great way for customers to instantly get hold of someone and find out the answer to any burning question they may have.
STEP 4 – BE HAPPY!
Whilst Covid-19 looks set to stay for the foreseeable future, we seem to all have had enough of talking about it constantly. People are looking for a bit of normality and positivity, and if you’re able to authentically spread a little happiness through your comms, then you absolutely should! Of course, it’s still important to share key information about what your business is doing to keep customers safe, but don’t make this all you focus on. Remember what makes your brand or businesss you think about how you can sprinkle a little cheer across your comms channels!
STEP 5 – GO THAT EXTRA MILE
Building on customer loyalty needs to be a key focus right now. There’s plenty of choice
people are only spending their money where they have a truly positive experience, or at shops they want to personally support. Anyone giving a bad experience will lose customers, but people giving amazing value or service will drive up loyalty and get through the crisis with better customer relationships.
Think about how your business can go that extra mile. Make sure your staff have had the right training to ensure each and every customer feels welcome and valued.
So there you have it, 5 simple steps to follow to ensure you’re engaging and building relationships with your customers again.
Need help with any of the above? Let us help you get the right expert on the job! Get in touch here