The adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has put a lot of businesses at rock-bottom. Disrupted supply chains, massive layoffs, and temporary shutdowns were burdens experienced across industries. But in the last year, the market started to cope with the changes brought on by these unprecedented times. Businesses are using flexibility and creativity to meet the needs of customers.
As the economy rebounded, startups and reopenings became more frequent. Now, the challenge is no longer about staying afloat amid the pandemic. It is more about keeping up with the tighter competition and driving demand in the changing market landscape. So, we will discuss the effective ways to satisfy customers and ensure market positioning.
Adapt to the Changing Marketing Mediums and Styles
Marketing is fundamental to propel the demand for your products and services. The pandemic brought on many changes to marketing styles and mediums. With the lockdowns’ restrictions and technological advancements, turning to the internet is a strategic move. Marketing is now veering away from TV commercials and newspaper ads and gearing further towards social media and business websites.
According to Internet World Statistics, almost 5.2 billion people, or 66 percent of the world’s population, are internet users. The vast majority, or 2.8 billion of whom, are from Asia. North America and Europe are the highest in terms of internet penetration, their figures reaching 93 percent and 88 percent, respectively. All regions show the effectiveness and accessibility of the internet, except for Africa, with its number at only 43 percent.
More and more people have flocked to the internet in recent years. The increment sped up at the height of the pandemic, reaching 8.8 percent in only two years. These values can support the notion that the internet can help increase customers.
So it is no surprise that the number of online ventures grew last year. From 54 percent in 2018, the online presence of small businesses rose to 64 percent in 2020. With this expansion, experts estimated that 95 percent of companies will be available on the internet in 2040.
Now, your goal is how to attract visitors and generate potential leads. You have to make sure that your website is intuitive and user-friendly and you use the proper SEO practices. Upon landing on your website, the first ten seconds are crucial to customer retention and bounce rate.
KPMG International’s 2017 Global Online Consumer Report stated that 55 percent of visitors read reviews before purchasing anything on the internet. Forty-seven percent visit company websites and 26 percent check physical stores. So whether you have a brick-and-mortar location, having an online presence is still a must today.
Listen to Your Customers
While your employees can tell how the process goes, customers can define and rate your output. So it is crucial to listen to customer feedback and suggestions. Merge these with those you get from your employees or management people. This will help you create a sound decision to improve your output and drive business and customer success.
You can use surveys to gather information. You can also make phone calls, especially if you have fixed customers. However, these qualitative data are not easy to quantify and prone to biases without doing qualitative coding. And often, they may be ambiguous and not address specific concerns.
Fortunately, there are comprehensive approaches to reviewing customer feedback and business goals. You and your customers can meet through touchpoints like Quarterly Business Reviews (QBRs). This method will help you determine how your company affects your customers and their businesses. From there, you can set new goals and find ways to improve customer satisfaction.
Keep Business Transactions Smooth
The smoothness and accessibility of business transactions are vital to ensure customer success. Flexible payment methods are another factor to consider. For online businesses, customers also expect payments to be online. Avoiding physical contact is one of the reasons many prefer online to physical stores today.
Developed and developing economies are shifting towards digital payments. Virtual cards, contactless cards, and e-payments are the most popular options. In the US, cash transactions dropped to 22 percent in 2020. The most notable change was in the Netherlands, from 52 percent to 14 percent.
Pay Attention to Your Employees
Business success must always start from the inside. Without your employees, no one will ensure the timeliness and quality of the products and services delivered to your customers. Given the Great Resignation, keeping them has become more crucial than ever. Know their needs and check your capacity to provide them.
Do they need a salary increase, incentives, or promotion? Do they need rest or someone to talk to? These aspects are vital for remote and hybrid work setups. Maybe you can conduct an open-door meeting every once in a while. You must listen to them to make them feel comfortable and valued.
You may give them leeways in the form of non-work meetings or huddles. Self-development and soft-skills training will help, too. You should not let them leave and transfer to your competitors. Training or promoting them is cheaper than hiring new employees, after all.
Drive the Quality and Timeliness of Product Delivery
Businesses must ensure the timely delivery of products and services to their customers. But it must also avoid exhausting its employees and resources, given the unstable business environment.
With technology, workflow optimization and employee monitoring software can track and speed up transactions and processes. You can improve quality and productivity on the supply and demand side with this. You can also avoid employee burnout while enhancing customer satisfaction.