Confusion, dismay, concern, speculation, jubilation…whichever side of the fence you are on, the fact is there now lies ahead a period of adjustment, uncertainty and concern, says Jonathan Winchester UK chief executive of customer experience consultancy Shopper Anonymous
Regardless of what business you are in, this could be a good time to consider your customers’ motivations and decision-making landscape.
The one common denominator amongst all voters is a feeling of being disenfranchised with the status quo. But whether it’s on a global scale, a national scale or a local neighbourhood scale, each voter had their own reasons for voting the way they did.
It’s done. The fallout will be long and protracted. It may have an impact on every person in the UK financially and personally. But every person in the UK will still have to purchase bread, buy services, choose education and select adequate care for their elderly.
Our day-to-day routines and procedures will still exist but they may all become a little more intense in the short term. Customers will start making more informed decisions and taking careful steps to ensure their economic stability.
This is the perfect platform for you to create a deeper relationship with your customer and provide some welcome assurance that you will continue to honour your agreements or transactions with them.
We know that customer experience is destined to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator this decade. With that in mind, creating a grounded and stable customer experience should take precedence now. Make it known that you value your customer and their views, whatever they may be. Every customer is different to you. In Future Proof Your Business Patrick Dixon writes: “Seek out advice from experts, consultants, innovators – people who think very differently to you and others in your company.” Outsiders’ views will challenge your own views, allow you to step out of the bubble that is your own business, which means you stay current and relevant. Your customers are valuable resources. Listen to them.
Of course, you will be considering the financial implications for your own business but your business is worthless without your customers. Take a step back and consider your customer journey. What are they seeking now?
Six top tops
We suggest there are a few things you should certainly NOT say to your customers this summer:
1. “You ticked WHICH box?!” Keep your views to yourself. Easiest way to lose customers is to vocalise a view that does not match theirs.
2. “I don’t care about YOUR situation; our industry is unique.” You do not stand alone, and there will always be businesses in different situations to you. This is not the time to moan about how you may be more affected than most. There are winners and losers in every situation. Customers will be looking at how your handle your win or loss and what your strategies are going forward.
3. “Of course our pricing will change.” The UK is one of the largest and fastest growing economies in the world. This will not change overnight or this month or this year. Reassure your customer that nothing will change (even if you suspect you may have to make changes in the long-term, do not worry your customer needlessly).
4. “We’ve changed our terms.” Any whiff of instability on your behalf will surely result in your customer seeking out other options. You should really be doing everything possible to make sure your customers feel secure and that their relationship with you is permanent and on-going.
5. “I’m studying to become an immigration agent.” Even if you anticipate there will be a mass exodus to countries on distant continents, your customer will not thank you if you announce your intention to leave your business and cash in on industries that may experience a boom. It is a pointless and futile exercise to predict worst-case scenarios. Focus, instead, on opportunities that may be hidden within your own business.
6. “We’re all doomed.” We know that approximately 70% of buying decisions are made based upon how a customer feels he or she is being treated (McKinsey). A depressed, financially insecure customer will not really be amenable to the up-sell. There has never been a better time to make your customer feel loved.