5 Thought Provokers on the Evolving Customer
Businesses knew their customers relatively well in the past because environments were much more stable previously. But with all the current variables rapidly and continuously changing, businesses need to take a fresh look and get to know their “new” customer. However, this also provides businesses with the opportunity to help shape their customer’s buying behaviour in these current times.
Steve Jobs said it best with his quote: “Get closer than ever to your customers. So close that you tell them what they need well before they realize it themselves.”
Working remotely; mandatory mask-wearing; avoiding crowded areas as well as the current explosive shopping mall violence, looting; unstable political and economic environments and transport disruptions, bring even more anxiety and volatility to our people and our country’s economic state. It is busy changing how we are living our lives as well as our buying behaviour. It is influencing our mental and physical state.
Make no mistake, every business or industry’s customer has changed. They have adapted and they are seeing things differently. So, how well do you know your customers? How well do your customer service personnel, frontline staff, or sales consultants know your “new”, different and evolving customer? For them to give your customer an enjoyable, memorable, and overall exceptional customer experience, they need to truly understand the way the customer thinks, feels and what their circumstances are.
5 Thought Provokers on the Evolving Customer:
Thought 1: The people who deal with your customers need to handle them with empathy. Quite a few articles mention this. Just listening to the overall public talking amongst themselves, amplifies the mixed emotions people go through. The typical consumer deals with circumstances that they are not always prepared for. This can lead to people naturally feeling scared, anxious, unsure, sometimes hopeless, and drained.
Thought 2: Furthermore, people work sparingly with their income. For those that still have an income. Even big companies had to cut on personnel or on salaries. Most are suffering financially. Current conditions have made people realise that they need to spend wisely. People now realise the importance of having savings for a rainy day. Suddenly, quality has become more vital than quantity.
Thought 3: People are not sure what the future holds anymore and therefore they might not plan too far in advance. Some consumers literally cope day by day. Because they feel uncertain, they do not set long term goals. For example, they are hesitant to book events or plan holidays, in advance. They find themselves feeling insecure and sceptical, and apprehensive about their plans being disrupted.
The future of the unstable economy and country, not even to mention the devastating effects COVID-19 brings, terrifies them, and they don’t know how to deal with this emotionally and physically. Literally every basic needs of humans, as stipulated in Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs, is wobbly and at risk.
Thought 4: South Africans are also resilient, hardworking and through their unique sense of humour find that silver lining at the end of the day. That dim light at the end of the tunnel. They realise that they need to live healthier, hygienically, and be more open to change. They quickly familiarise themselves with digital platforms and technologies. They learned to cope. People adapted.
Thought 5: But it has gotten more personal. Employees and consumers alike want to know their employers and their brands care for them and their communities. People want to see that human factor from businesses. The NEW customer wants to be seen more as a, “friend or family member” than just someone who buys something because they need it. They want you to understand their feelings, their situations, and their circumstances. They need you as a business involved in their communities. They need you to add value.
Are you leading with a customer-first approach to building your success?
Having Customer Intelligence can set you, as a business apart from the rest. It can assist your staff in keeping up with constantly changing customer needs. The Mindspa Institute’s Customer Intelligence training course equips you with the tools and skills to enhance your own Emotional Intelligence as well as that of your fellow team members, improve your inter-personal skills, communication skills and enables you to deal with conflict in an effective manner. It will equip you with tools to manage yourself and your team in an emotionally intelligent manner.
*Customer Service is not a department, but an attitude. Customer service is the ability to provide a service or product in the way that it has been promised and then aiming to exceed the customer’s expectations. The course will also focus on Internal customer care and getting your organization and team to work together. Contact one of our skilled sales consultants on 010 110 0226 for a virtual meeting to discuss how The Mindspa Institute can assist with guiding your teams through these continuously challenging times.