This last year has been a challenge for everyone. Some businesses were positioned perfectly for unexpected events. Other businesses suffered. Lessons were learned. The game changed. And 2020 marked the beginning of some new ways for almost every company in the world. We’ve been researching trends, studying the reports, and reporting the ideas throughout this last year.
Now, we’d like to share discoveries on how the experience of this last year could possibly drive consumer trends moving forward in 2021.
As we write this, the vaccine for COVID-19 is being dispersed to front line workers. With high hopes and some anxiety, our nation awaits what lies ahead. It’s hard to predict exactly what the future looks like. Will we return to the social norms of our pre-pandemic? How long will the shadow of social distancing loom over the interactions of people both personally and professionally? And for many business owners, the question still remains. What will happen to us?
We hope that this article will spark some strategy ideas for navigating the uncertain future and start conversations around how to give your clients a stellar experience. We’ll review 3 key points that could benefit your company as you plan for the upcoming year.
Let’s begin with a concept that every business could benefit from understanding and working to improve upon.
1. The Virtual Experience Appears To Be Important
For now and into the unforeseen future, virtual interactions and transactions will remain a staple. When it comes to researching and purchasing a product or service, customers are now in the habit of relying on a comprehensive virtual journey.
From discovering a product or service to learning everything they need to know for the sake of making a purchase, potential customers expect a virtual buying experience that rivals and even replace the real thing. If we thought instant gratification was a major driving force before 2020, well, we may not have seen anything yet.
In our last article, we talked about the importance of convenience. Customers are looking to buy from brands who provide them with the most convenient experience possible.
You may benefit from looking at ways to provide a seamless buyer’s journey for your clients. Maybe you can better automate the payment, ordering, and/or delivery process for your clients. Think about ways you can make the entire transaction easier for folks looking to do business with you.
2. Finding A Human Balance Could Be Valuable
Though the virtual experience will be of utmost importance, it could definitely be debated that virtual optimization falls flat if the human element is removed. It is hard to replace authenticity.
So while you discuss the best way to create a perfect virtual experience for your customers, it would probably be a good idea to include real, human interactions along the way. Think about how you can personalize the buying experience for your customers.
What can you include in your offer that will deliver the human touch and feel? There are an array of strategies that you can use here. What does your customer outreach look like? Are you calling your customers to check-in and explore their needs? Are you running email campaigns that engage your customers with offers that are personal to them? Have you begun incorporating video into your marketing? Are you beginning conversations on your social media channels?
As you work to automate your customers’ experience, remember that too much automation could detract from your company’s authenticity and human connection. How are you making your team available? How can you keep customer service and human interaction at the forefront? We are all hardwired for community. A great way to show your customers that you care is by making your workforce of experts available to help people solve their problems and answer their questions.
Good customer outreach and engagement strategy will likely combine the digital experience with a human balance. Use the data you gather about your clients and their problems to fuel ways you can continue adding value and personalized touch for your clients. Your clients will appreciate feeling connected to you and your team.
3. Customers Will Likely Be More Impatient
Here’s a prediction. If you haven’t already, you’ll likely hear the word “empathy” used quite often when it comes to customer engagement strategies moving forward. As saturated as the idea may become in the customer engagement category, understanding how to show your clients empathy will play an important role in helping your company build brand loyalty. This relates directly to the concept of “convenience” that we covered in our last article as well.
Let them know that you understand the challenges they’re facing and position yourself to help them solve their problems. There are many reasons why potential clients may be impatient. And there are just as many reasons why they want to purchase from a company that empathizes with their problems and gives them the most convenient solutions.
Think about how you and your team can anticipate what those issues could be and keep your clients’ challenges at the top of your mind. A lot of folks are working remotely, juggling on-site work with homeschooling. They’ve been in limited contact with others for nearly a year.
As we mentioned at the beginning of this article, some companies were perfectly positioned to capitalize on the unexpected events of this year. Other businesses were not in such a favorable position. One of the overarching lessons that most businesses took away was increasing their focus on customer needs.
If you have any questions about the next steps for your business concerning equipment and/or appraisals, the team at Auction Masters is always here to help. We specialize in business equipment appraisals and helping companies sell their equipment for the highest value possible. Our processes for appraisals and equipment sales is simple and effective. Give us a call today to set up an appointment and get started. We would love the chance to show you why our partners have trusted us to help them for over 40 years.