No matter what your industry, as the world starts to get back on its feet, it’s vital to make the most of every opportunity that comes your way.
And in many cases, we’re going to need to do things differently. Here are 5 lessons from the pandemic that we must learn.
Lesson #1 Earn your customers’ trust
Customers feel let down by companies they previously trusted. In travel, holidays were cancelled by both sides, plans were changed and neither companies nor customers wanted to pick up the tab.
Customers will gravitate to those companies they trust. Make your contract terms explicit. And if you haven’t already, now’s the time to outline your policies for cancellation, change of mind, pandemics, ‘Acts of God’ or any other reason.
If you’re going above and beyond the norm for your sector, then make a point of saying so. Be transparent. Customers are looking to buy from companies they can trust, so make your policies clear.
Lesson #2 Know your customers
You probably have a good understanding of your customers – or at least you used to. But a lot of that knowledge is outdated now, as customer behaviour has changed so dramatically.
Spend frequency and value have changed in many industries so you’re going to need to rethink your targeting models. You can still use historic relationship and loyalty, but you’re going to need to combine that with an understanding of your customers’ current situation and how they have behaved in the last year.
A lack of spend now doesn’t mean necessarily mean that a customer has left you. Equally, you may have new customers shopping with you for the first time. Are they going to remain with you for the long term or is it a temporary change in behaviour?
Identify what behaviours will remain, which won’t, and how you identify your best customers going forward. Use your data to see who’s still browsing your website and what they are looking at, even if they’re not buying.
If you’re not sure which customers to focus on, we offer a Meet Your Customers project which answers these questions and quickly identifies where the value and opportunities lie in your data. If you’re interested in finding out where to invest your marketing budget for the best returns, just get in touch.
Lesson #3 Demonstrate the value of your product
With concerns over income and job security, customers have cut back on spending in non-essential areas. So if you want to make a sale, you need to be offering a great value proposition.
Frame your offering in the best possible way. Is a holiday about getting a tan and early morning drinking by the pool? Or is it a boost to your mental health and a chance to reconnect with friends or family?
What value are you offering your customers?
You’re going to need to price competitively. Resist the temptation to significantly increase prices to recoup lost sales or increased costs, unless absolutely necessary. Even though the price increase may be justified, you need to remove all possible barriers to purchase.
And ask your customers what they want. What are their buying expectations, what do they want from your product, what’s going to bring them back through your doors?
Lesson #4 Be flexible and react quickly
One valuable lesson we’ve all learned is that we need to be ready to react much faster than we’d ever thought necessary.
Waiting for sale reports and customer statistics at the end of the month isn’t an option. You need real-time information so that you can see what’s happening both on a high level and an individual customer level. And you need to use that data to drive real time marketing.
Getting the right message, to the right person at the right time means you can maximise every opportunity – whether that’s closing a sale, selling ancillary products or resolving a complaint.
Watch our video of our Engagement Hub here to see how effective real-time marketing can be. You’ll find out how you can use every touchpoint to speak to the customer in real-time and determine the best action for each individual.
Lesson #5 Be in control of your data
But the most important thing you can do is to be in control of your data. The winners over the coming months will those who not only possess the data, but who are able to use it to derive insight and deliver fast, effective marketing activity.
We carried out in-depth studies with dozens of companies to find out who was best placed to maximise the returns from their data. We found big differences in those who were able to both FIND insights in their data and ACT on them and those who weren’t. And if you want to know the single best predictor of a company’s data capability….you can read our report here.
If you want to find out how you stack up against your peers, take our free 20-minute Refocus test. It’ll reveal how you stack up on the six essential data capabilities and show you how to respond to the opportunities you may not even know you have.
You’ll get a personalised and independent view on what’s holding you back, as well as clear priorities to improve your data capabilities.
Check out the Refocus tool here and book in for the most worthwhile 20 minutes you’ll spend this year.