Happy New Year! The time is great to recap what small businesses learned about our customers from the most challenging business year in most of our life times:
Customers can be flexible
My Mom is 77 years old and has been going into grocery stores to shop all of her life. Today her groceries come to her house via Kroger’s Cliqlist. Circumstances forced her to change the way she shops and she’s had to adapt to it. Most of us in the US have never purchased masks for anything but Halloween costumes until this year but it’s become common for us to throw some in our shopping carts online of in the store. Manufacturers have also adapted and pivoted from making clothing to masks and other PPE items that were needed for the time.
Customers can adapt to changes in technology, processes, and products but they do need support – communication and education – to help them make the switch. In 2021, be proactive and plan and prepare the resources your customers will need in advance.
Customers want to know the person behind the business
Whether it’s a large corporation or a solopreneur, we want to know the people behind the business. We want to know who their spouse is, if they have kids, do they like to snorkel or roller skate? Research shows that we buy from people who we know and like so be prepared to be open and transparent in some areas of your life but it’s okay to place limits on what you share.
Customers need community & kindness
Over the last few years we’ve seen a LOT of bad behavior, unkindness, and harsh rhetoric so much that when we run across nice-ness and kind-ness, we take note of it. Brands and businesses that make a point to show that they are approachable will create a desire for customers to share the experience with others.
For 2021, successful businesses will leverage these learnings and strategic ways.