You might think you know your customers, but do you really? In the last two years – as a result of the pandemic and how it changed our lives – our customers’ wants, needs, and expectations have changed. If you’re still serving the ‘old’ customer, you might be completely missing the mark.
In a recent presentation on this topic, I asked the people in the audience to tell me how their customers had changed. Here’s a snapshot of their results:
You can see how diverse the responses are! According to this …
- Some customers have become more informed and better researched. That was true even pre-COVID, but it’s especially true now, as people are actively seeking the best price and value.
- Some are more impatient, intolerant, and even aggressive. Do you have processes in place to deal with them appropriately when they interact with your business?
- Some are more digital, home based, and have changed purchase methods – which obviously happened during lockdowns. Even if they no longer need to shop entirely from home, some of them will do that by choice. How are you prepared for that?
- … and so on.
I can’t tell you exactly how your customers have changed, but I bet they have changed.
Start-up companies do this well.
When a business is new, everybody is excited about meeting their customers’ needs and solving their problems. They actively learn what customers want, and do everything they can to serve them. But over time, that excitement and focus can die out, and customers get disillusioned and disappointed – so they go somewhere else.
But that’s not the only problem now. Now, because of the pandemic, your customers have changed. So, even if you had been aware of their problems and goals before, don’t assume they are the same now!
Take time now to understand your customers again – just as if you were starting your business from scratch and were meeting them for the first time.
In the presentation I mentioned above, I asked people to rate themselves on these three statements:
- We know and understand our ideal customer groups, and tailor our offerings to them.
- We know exactly what problems we’re solving for our customers (and solve them!).
- We know how the customer’s journey has changed, and adapt our organisation to match.
Try this yourself now – and if you score low on any of them, talk to your customers and then do something about it.