Real estate agents are now doing showings through virtual tours with their clients’ via zoom and videoconferencing software. The search term “online yoga classes” has increased by 10x since the beginning of March, according to Google Data Trends.
It’s time for all businesses to start preparing and adapting to this trend.
Your Customers Are Staying Home, How Can You Reach Them?
As the CEO of a digital marketing company, I spend a good part of my day looking for ways to increase my clients business and make user experience easier. I've found recently that many consumers are increasingly interacting with the brands they love from the comfort of their own home whenever possible. This isn't going to change. Businesses that are ahead of the curve recognize this and are starting to interact with their customers in new ways. Here are some applicable examples:
- Psychiatric practice, this might mean instituting a telemedicine protocol
- Office furniture store, it could mean ordering online.
Implementing text message strategies, social media communication or even starting a facebook group to engage your customers in an active way. Companies should recognize this change in consumer behavior and stay ahead of it, streamlining remote interaction whenever possible.
Get Inside Your Customers Brain During The Decision Making Stage
Decrease Friction In The Buying Cycle And Limit Communication Breakdowns. Start at the beginning thinking about your customers in a logical manor.
- Whiteboard all of the ways your customers get in touch with you
- Do they have to buy through actually seeing you?
- Can they purchase your product over the phone?
- Are they able to make a purchase without ever actually speaking with your business?
If your customers have to see your or speak with you, it's probably time to consider digitally productizing your offerings, which can be done for both low-ticket and high-end products and services. Providing your customers with the option to buy in a self-service platform can create a brand new stream of revenue.
When you start thinking about creating an automated online process, never assume buyers have extensive knowledge about your own business or service. Educate them while making process more consultative and personal. More information is better than less information. Always strive to answer questions through educational sales collateral that can be accessed remotely. Some of the best engagements online right now comes through quizzes.
Example: Brand North saw much higher engagements in the mortgage space when we changed the add language from "fill out this form to get a pre approved for a mortage" to, "take our 30 second Quiz To See If You Can Get Pre-Approved, and Find Out What You Can Do To Get Pre-Approved In The Future"
People wanted to know if they could get pre-approved and if not, what they could do to change it. They filled out the quiz like crazy.
We took the user through a talk track online and it resulted in a more personalized process. If the person isn't qualified at the end of the quiz, you can offer them a separate product that will help them on their journey to becoming a full time customer. This can work for any business.
Increase Customer Retention And Brand Loyalty
- Whiteboard all of the ways your customers speak with your company post purchase
- If this isn't documented, it should be.
- Do you contact your customers on their birthdays?
- Do you have a loyalty program?
- How many channels do your customers see your brand on and are their more?
- Telephone follow up
- Text follow up
- Email Follow Up
- Social Media Follow Up
Once you have all of these channels documented, you should look at them individually for their viability. Are you making money from all of these channels? If not. it's probably best to rethink the way you are using each channel, and then think about solutions. What do your customers want to see? Can you put out guides or helpful tips that will make their lives easier. The Goal is for these channels to "not be fluff" You want them to actually serve a purpose and answer a question that your consumers might have. The more helpful you are, the more engagement you will get. Posting a static "special" isn't going to help. But if you post something about how they can implement your service or product to make their lives easier, it will help. That's the difference. We created a Coronavirus Business Toolkit that can help you with a lot of this at a very low cost.
Taking The Plunge
In conclusion, I believe the trend toward remote communication isn't going anywhere. So, make an effort to streamline your customers buying experience NOW. Make the transition easy by putting your customers first and giving them every opportunity to interact with your brand by implementing a frictionless buying journey. You heard it here first, I predict that there will be a major shift in communication and that it will continue. This pandemic has catupulted the world 10 years into the future. We will innovate in the next 2 years more than ever before. It's time for your company to be part of the trend and hop on the bandwaggon. If you don't it might be hard to survive. Don't be surprised when you can purchase a car or buy a house with no physical human interaction. Instead, be prepared.
We were recently Pusblished in Forbes on this topic and you can find more information and examples in that post.
George Kocher is a data driven leader with experience building and managing high performance sales and marketing teams. George graduated from Cornell University with a degree in Economica and Management. He went on to work In Investment Banking and Private Equity where he was in charge of growth marketing. He now advises companies on growth and SEO.