In the increasingly competitive space of business, firms need to find new ways to stand out from the competition. In the eyes of customers, the usual metrics of price or product quality don’t always end up as the priority.
Now more than ever, customers are far more conscious of the companies that they back with their money, using the reach of the internet to find exactly what they want in terms of products and services as well as business preferences. So, while it’s still important to identify customer needs for innovation, it’s now also necessary to adhere to customer desires for business presentation and appeal.
Here are some of the ways that you can catch the eyes of customers, keep their attention, and appeal to them beyond an initial purchase or visit.
Offering help to customers while the cost of living rises
Naturally, businesses are going to be feeling the bite of the rising cost of living as customers will further seek the lowest possible costs, will be spending less, and will hold brand loyalty in a much lower standing. If businesses want to hold onto customers and remain prominent in their thoughts, they must offer as much help as is feasible in this money-crunching environment.
Offering help doesn’t necessarily mean giving cash to new customers, as some businesses will gamble on, or even slash prices to razor-thin margins. What’s key is offering further value with the business or service that will help with the rising cost of living in a way that’s relevant to the business. One way that some are doing this is by adding a buy-now, pay-later payment option to their sites that help to reduce upfront costs and spread them over time. This can be adverse if you select platforms with high rates of interest, but if kept in check, buy now, pay later can be a welcomed option.
Alternatively, businesses can seek to adjust their services and platforms to offer features that help people who want advice and even give a clearer picture of the money going in and out of their business account. To help with the rising cost of living, online banks have opted to install new tools to help, including a new section on spending insights, online webinars that help users to navigate the increases in costs, and a budget planner. These don’t come at an additional cost but offer key information and help that can assist those who don’t know how to handle to the current situation.
Demonstrating real climate action
Customers are becoming far savvier to the big corporations and their pledges to go green, reduce carbon, and become eco-friendly. Customers are now very passionate about the environment, with a steady stream of news articles calling out greenwashing and other underhanded practices only fueling this further. The rapid acceleration of business pledges with outlandish figures continues to increase skepticism and are seen more and more as empty promises – damaging the brand’s appeal rather than enhancing it.
You don’t need to look far to see experts, news agencies, and activist websites calling out climate pledges as nothing more than greenwashing. Organizations like the Climate Disclosure Project and Net Zero Tracker give clear grades and scores to companies that agree to take part or that make large public claims, for the latter.
Joining a program like the CDP can prove to be a good feather in your cap if you can score well, but the best way to adhere to your business to customers is to take real action and provide proof of your work. You can record your efforts and dedicate a page of your website to your continued efforts to help the environment and cut your carbon footprint. Doing so makes your firm appear a lot more personable and appealing.
As personable online as you would be in-store
Online shopping can often seem like a very detached activity, especially compared to going into a store. Not that people miss overly pushy store staff while you’re trying to browse, but people do still want quick and easy options for making contact if questions arise. It’s important to have high-quality customer service options that are easy to find.
Having a comprehensive FAQ is always a good start, especially if you include a search bar to help the customer navigate. From there, live chat is the option that customers want. Having an email address or phone number is good to show, but customers don’t tend to want to wait around for an email to get a response or for the other end of the line to pick up. Convenience and speed are everything for internet customers.
Make your business as appealing as possible to the online consumer base by offering bonuses over discounts, showcasing your dedication to climate action – rather than making big, greenwashing claims – and making sure that your customer service is accessible, helpful, and convenient.