June 18, 2020 at 6:58 PM
Peoples habits are changing - Are you adapting?
These are really unprecedented times. What history has taught us though, is that life is more about how you react to something, and less about what happens to you.
The post-Covid19 business era will have an economy shaped by new habits and regulations based on reduced close-contact interaction and tighter travel and hygiene restrictions. The current disruption will change how we eat, work, shop, exercise, manage our health, socialise and spend our free time, at an unprecedented rate of change.
How you ultimately gain new customers and retain and grow revenue lines will require an adaptation to your strategic response. This response will depend on how your business revenues have been impacted, which could range from the positive, like e-commerce, to then the catastrophically impacted ones, like the travel and tourism Industry.
In addition to the level of impact on your revenues, one then needs to consider the severity and duration of the economic influence. Will the recovery resemble a V, U, or an L shaped curve? Even then we would still need to prepare ourselves for a series of upward and downward swings during that recovery period.
Consumer behaviour has been changing for some time, but now just at a far more advanced rate.
In the next 18 to 24 months, will we see reduced office spaces and infrastructure? This may be a necessity due to the strain placed on budgets. More remote reskilling and teaching, and will that now become the normality? How do retailers get those latest fashion items to the customer purchased online? We will need far more agile and efficient product delivery solutions.
And then there’s digital transformation and the accelerated adoption thereof due to the changes in customer behaviour.
Did you know that during this lockdown period there has been a remarkable rise in email open rates? Email open rates are 26.95% higher during lockdown, and outperforming the annual Black Friday shopping event, with the click rates registering 6.38% higher during lockdown.
With this in mind, why would your business consider cutting marketing costs at a time when you have an audience that is now highly receptive to digital content than what they have ever been before? The question may be answered because of some business’ operational limitations, where outbound call centre calling is the primary, and at times the only, source of acquiring new customers. If your business does not allow you to respond to a customer’s call to action, during the times that we are in, then there is an even greater need to ensure that you adapt and start playing on the same playing field as those businesses that are investing in those digital channels and technology.To a certain extent, history repeats itself. And it has been proven in times gone by, those businesses that invest more during a recession, realise more profitable returns and growth, than those businesses that would rather look at ways to cut costs.
So the question is really, at what point do we move the ball out wide to the wings? When do we switch our focus from defence to offense? When do we break with speed?
Those of us thinking offense rather than defence, would typically agree that the decision where marketing and acquisition spend is being reduced to assist with the negative impacts to revenue lines, is a debatable one.
It is the offensive minded businesses that often looks at how best they can press home the advantage, when everyone is under pressure. Again, it is these businesses that choose to build some clever marketing strategies, keep up the momentum, ensure you leverage off the increased digital engagement, and then bring in more innovative digital channels, such as Artificial Intelligence to assist with acquiring new customers and then grow your business.
One needs to provide your customers with an Omni-channel digital experience that meets their expectations in terms of speed, ease of use, and over a secure and legislatively compliant platform, at any time of the day. This also sets a standard for their expectations from the digital experience, be it a customer being on boarded for a new credit card, or opening a retail account for example.
The digital process must take care of all the security considerations, especially when originating financial and Insurance products. These risks can successfully be mitigated thanks to technological advancement and enabling regulations. Still, integrating all the technologies and automating the most complex processes in a way that is simple, efficient, and transparent for customers, can find businesses struggling to adapt and overcome these digital challenges.
There are new habits being formed. How you respond to those habits today will define how your business will be impacted tomorrow.
How are you going to react?