This article was contributed by our friends at Forbes.
When customers begin cutting out favorite treats, including avocados and even Starbucks drinks, you can be sure that inflation is having a serious effect. As of July 2022, the consumer price index had increased to 9.1%. Many economists feel that stabilization is far away.
Despite these realities, you have a business to run. And you can’t run it without a constant stream of customers. Yet it’s safe to say that your customers need something different from you now than they did even a year ago. They need your concern, your care, and your creativity in helping them get through their challenges. As a reward, you’ll be more apt to receive their loyalty in return, which will help you overcome your company’s own economic-related struggles.
To help you begin putting customers first, try these strategies. Each one is designed to showcase your brand’s understanding and responsiveness.
1. Problem-solve on your customer’s behalf.
Your customers have many concerns right now that they may not be able to keep everything straight. You can provide assistance by coming up with solutions for their biggest pain points. That way, they don’t have to do all the mental heavy lifting.
The key to being customer-centric when problem-solving is to make sure your product or service isn’t the only answer. During and after the pandemic, the world experienced a massive CPAP shortage due to a number of factors, including supply chain challenges. To help consumers navigate this shortage, CPAP.com prioritized providing education aimed at helping customers looking for CPAP machines to find viable temporary and permanent workarounds.
It can be very difficult for people to think outside the box when they’re facing major dilemmas. Making customers’ lives easier by offering suggestions they haven’t considered can ease their minds. Plus, it adds depth to your relationship.
2. Offer truly valuable content.
Your marketing needs to be top-notch right now in every way. One method to move your content marketing to a world-class level is by issuing content that goes beyond expectations.
Taking content marketing to new heights is simpler if you start exploring other brands that are effective at the process. John Deere is a standout in the valuable content category. For more than 100 years, its magazine, The Furrow, has been a must-read among Deere enthusiasts. But the company doesn’t stop its content marketing there. It constantly aims for high-quality pieces – and earned an exclusive ‘Genius Brands’ accolade from Gartner for its marketing efforts.
Go through your existing content marketing schedule. Are upcoming posts and videos relevant? Do they provide something beyond keyword optimization or advertising? Challenge your team to go beyond the typical norms for the content you publish.
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3. Launch a loyalty program.
Customers like their loyalty programs. In fact, 39% of people who become loyalty club members are willing to spend more for a branded item, even if a lower-price substitute is available. This shows the power of constructing a community that’s built around your company and its offerings.
Of course, you can’t just set up a loyalty program and let it run itself. You have to entice people to join with rewards like coupons. Remember that your loyalty program can follow any rules you like. For instance, you may want to allow members to build up points that they can redeem for dollars off future purchases. Or you might prefer to give members the chance to reserve ‘first in line’ spots for waitlisted products.
The most important aspect of your loyalty program is that it needs to shower your customers with tons of appreciation. Customers who feel the love won’t be as quick to join the churn.
4. Eliminate customers’ stickiest friction points.
Customers don’t like to jump through hoops to buy anything, especially now. They want to get what they want as quickly and efficiently as they can. You can make this possible by removing any obstacles getting in their way.
Let’s say your company sells products online. A common friction point on e-commerce sites is a clunky checkout interface. Some ways to solve this issue include leveraging autofill capabilities, reducing the steps needed to get to the checkout, and asking only for ‘bare bones’ data. Just be sure that your rapid checkout solutions work on all platforms, including your app.
If you’re not sure where your customers are getting hung up, feel free to ask. Conducting after-purchase customer surveys can net you a wealth of insights.
Many of your customers are going through some rocky moments. However, they still have to purchase products and services. With a little ingenuity, you can show buyers that your brand isn’t just another company ready to fulfill orders. It’s one that’s been engineered to prioritize and serve their needs.