In a Crisis, Keep a Customer-Centric Approach
A customer-centric approach is obviously important during the best of times, but when things get tough, this methodology only gets more critical.
There are a lot of lessons that companies can take away from the current climate, and at the top of the list is the need to be more empathetic, proactive, and agile in developing and maintaining consumer relationships. Businesses need to prioritize consumer-centric marketing as a way to elevate the retail customer experience and ensure that the right message is being delivered to the right audience at the right time.
So, how do you do it? We’ve gathered some of our best tips for successfully putting customers front and center using your omnichannel retail marketing initiatives. Follow along to stay strong — and stay ahead of the game.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is a Customer-Centric Strategy?
In retail, a customer-centric business model is one that’s optimized to provide an enhanced customer experience. In doing so, businesses can boost customer loyalty, retain more customers over time, and improve sales. And, all of these things are necessary to surviving a crisis.
Customer service is part and parcel of this strategy, but it goes even further than that. A customer-centric approach needs to be woven into sales and marketing practices too, with actionable steps taken both before and after a sale to keep customers satisfied and informed. It’s not difficult, but it does require a coordinated plan.
Customer-Centric Best Practices
A customer-centric marketing strategy will help you ride out the storm and will put you in a better position for when things go back to normal. Here are some best practices to make it happen.
Adapt to personalization
Today’s customers expect personalized communications and experiences. Make sure that you’re properly targeting any messaging that you send out to align with demographics, preferences, and where an individual is in the buyer’s journey. In addition to happier customers, you’ll also have customers who are more likely to return for another purchase.
Focus on what the customer wants
Your customers’ wants and needs should be your wants and needs. Develop services and practices around your customers, adapting to their preferences instead of the other way around. Using data around behaviors and KPIs you should be able to figure out what your audience appreciates — and what only serves to make things more difficult for them.
Keep the lines of communication open
Communication is key to the customer-centric model. Adapt your message to speak to consumers’ immediate needs, and keep it consistent across multiple touchpoints. Stay accessible too, responding to inquiries as quickly and offering painless and effective solutions.
Put retention first
It’s a lot more profitable to retain current customers than generate new ones. Elevate the post-purchase experience wherever possible to ensure satisfaction after a decision has been made so that your customers always know just how much you value your relationship with them.
This current crisis won’t go on forever. A customer-centric strategy will help ensure that you’re in the best position when it’s over, and will keep things running smoothly in the meantime. It’s never too late to get started either, so follow the best practices above and get to work on a better, more effective approach to sales and marketing.