Customers’ preferences have changed since 2020, with the pandemic being the largest contributor. The crisis culture has redefined consumer behavior, so brands should adjust their messaging to connect with customers in a more meaningful way.
It’s vital to understand what things matter to customers the most in order to deliver superior value and meet their requirements.
Let’s take a look at some of the biggest shifts in customer behavior and preference in the past year and what you can do to cope with the challenges that lie ahead.
Interactive Content on Social Media
People today feel more divided than ever before. But despite the negativity, they remain hopeful that brands can help reconnect the world.
In the midst of a crisis, customer connection is extremely vital. More and more brands are realizing the value of truly connecting with consumers and treating social media as more than a channel for promotion.
To connect with your customers, you need to create the right messaging. Storytelling has been one of the most popular and effective approaches in social media marketing because it connects to customers on a more personal level.
The challenge is how to create stories that are clear, engaging, relevant, and consistent. A good way of meeting that requirement is the StoryBrand framework which is a seven-part process that leverages the power of story to structure your marketing messaging.
Well-designed & Accessible Website
An estimated 2.14 billion people globally purchase goods online. The COVID-19 crisis has changed online shopping forever, according to experts. In particular, it accelerated the shift towards a more digital world.
Hence, it’s critical for businesses to implement a website accessibility plan.
Many elements go into good website design, but the most important is security and visual presentation. If you’re redesigning your website, what customers are looking forward to in 2021 is accessibility.
In addition to the WCAG guidelines for digital accessibility, some other helpful strategies include live captioning or speech-to-text captions for webinars, live streams, and virtual gatherings.
Your site should also support keyboard navigation and use appropriate font sizes, descriptive URLs, and alt text to images.
Chance of Leaving Feedback
Customers appreciate it when the brands they patronize allow them to provide feedback. It makes them feel heard and valued. By asking your clients for feedback, you are communicating that their opinion is important to you.
Consequently, it helps you create stronger relations with them.
Customer feedback is also valuable to your business. Today’s marketing is heavily based on customers’ experience with brands. By involving your customers in shaping the growth of your business, you’re likely to take the path to success.
Thus, if your focus is delivering top-notch customer service, you’ve got to hear what your customers have to say. Ask them what they like about your products or services and what can be improved.
What are the methods to get honest customer feedback in 2021?
- Website and web app surveys (in-app surveys).
- Feedback button – add an always-visible, static button that floats on your site.
- Email-embedded and link surveys – if you need detailed feedback.
- Mobile app surveys
- Chat surveys
Fast Solution to Problems
Want more customers? Solve their problems. Identifying your customers’ pain points and providing them with targeted solutions is the key to a successful customer relationship.
Invest in Product Training
To resolve customers’ problems quickly, it’s critical that your employees are equipped with product knowledge and technical skills.
They need to understand the product or service, how it works, and the common issues about it. Conducting simulations or scenario-based training is a proven method where employees learn the correct way to handle different questions and problems.
Next, they need to have the right tools to communicate with customers properly. Consider leveraging different communication channels, such as VoIP, chat, and email customer support.
Aside from designating a dedicated customer support team, you can also make it easier for your customers to find the solution to their problems by creating online communities, discussion forums, and chatbots.
SMS text support is also a great tool, considering that 75% of the American population uses SMS regularly.
Being Treated Individually
If you think the era of personalization is over, think again. Consumers don’t stick to brands that can’t cater to their individual needs.
Thus, if you want your business to be successful, you should treat them as individuals and give them what they want.
It’s impossible to cater to all consumers, so you must focus on your niche market.
What is the key to audience targeting?
Thorough data analysis can help you understand what things are more important to your customers. When creating marketing campaigns, think of their concerns, demands, and needs in terms of demographics, gender, age, and many other factors.
You can use tools that help you analyze patterns according to customer behavior.
Customers Care about Experience
Think about the last time you had a great experience as a customer. It felt wonderful, didn’t it?
Positive customer service is crucial to your business. That’s because a happy customer is more likely to return to your business.
Also, a happy customer will promote your business for you, through word-of-mouth marketing. They will also advocate for your brand.
Digital media has immensely empowered customers. Today, they have a plethora of options to choose from.
That’s why it’s important to provide a remarkable experience if you want your customers to continue doing business with you.
The pandemic has significantly changed customer preferences. Today, consumers want to feel connected to the brands they patronize. And to connect with your customers, you have to deliver the right message.
They also want your website to be user-friendly and accessible especially now that most people are buying products and services online.
Next, they want their problems to be addressed quickly. When they have concerns, they want them resolved the first time they reach out to you.
Lastly, your customers are individuals who want to be treated individually. They also care so much about positive experiences. With so many choices around, they are likely to stick to a company that makes them feel valued.
About the Author
During my career path, I have managed to accumulate significant experience in website SEO optimization, content marketing, and digital marketing channel management. I believe that nowadays businesses need to be flexible enough to make behavioral shifts to better position their products & brands.