Updated: Jul 14, 2020
As the UK starts to make some tentative headway into 'normal' life, businesses are waking up to a different world than 12 weeks ago. Consumers have never been more careful about how they spend their money. Savvy spenders are looking for quality, personalised service they can trust, as well as value for money. The right customers are prepared to spend more on the right supplier and contrary to what you may believe, no longer look for 'cheapest'- in fact they haven;t done for some time. So how can you reach these customers and meet their expectations?
1. Review your offering Before you decide whether to adapt your products or services, take a look at what you actually have now. How well are you meeting the needs of your existing customers? What is selling well and what should be dropped? Review your customer 'journey' - this should take no more than about 20 minutes. Are you easy to do business with? Are you accessible? Is there anything you can do to make your customer journey easier?
2. Keep up to date with changes Tough times inspire ingenious thinking. Since your business started has technology has moved on? For example, is your mobile site responsive? Most business owners have a website, but forget about their mobile site being optimised - this has taken over desktop viewing and is where the likes of Google want to see businesses optimised.What new trends are emerging in your sector?
3. Think how to expand your existing offer You don’t need to make huge changes - it may just be a matter of tweaking what you have. One idea is to introduce a premium version of your products or service or perhaps an online version. You could also try ‘bundling’ your products and services, or adding new services that complement your existing products.
4. Add value to customers
Consider how you can make life easier for your customers. This doesn't need to involve spending money.
For example, a free local delivery service, ongoing support, coaching, weekend opening, technical assistance, free returns or incentives and loyalty schemes for repeat customers. This can increase purchase frequency, increase loyalty and improve customer satisfaction.
5. Create new partnerships and affiliations
Opportunities to build new relationships often happen as markets change. A joint venture, partnership or affiliation with another business serving a slightly different but complimentary market could open up new doors for you. It also increases exposure and makes new connections and contacts. Being the 'go to' for a collection of related products and services means your customers are more loyal to you and you are first in mind when they are ready to buy as they already have built that all important trust.
6. Complement and diversify You may want to consider diversifying into new areas. For example, a fitness trainer offering health products, a chocolate maker creating hand made ice creams in the summer, offices and hotels renting desk space to freelancers. Don't stray too far form your core offering, but be sure to research and test out demand, before investing in large quantities of stock.
7. Reconsider the way you sell and who to It may not be your product or service that is holding you back, but your to sales and marketing. Could your offer be repackaged for a completely new market?
8. Ask customers what they think Before making any changes, find out whether your customers actually have a need or desire for your new product or service. Does your new offering actually meet your customers needs and would they be prepared to pay for it? Have a trial period and gain valuable feedback so you can make any tweaks.
9. Expand sales channels The easiest way to improve your offer without actually changing it is to make it more convenient to find and to buy
sell via social media
explore third-party sales opportunities
get found online - use online directories and blogs to increase your SEO - but be consistent
10. Create an ongoing feedback process and ask for referrals However and wherever you sell, ensure your customers have the opportunity to rate your goods and services. Listen and respond to feedback quickly and use it to further improve, develop and grow your business. At every customer touchpoint - ask for referrals. This is a great way to grow your business organically and customers who have had a great experience will happily oblige.
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