Consumers today are dealing with an ever-shifting landscape below their feet, with pandemic spikes, reopenings and closings, so if your organization can provide consistently this will help build trust. One thing is certain as the world begins to emerge from lockdown trust and transparency have never been more important. The post-pandemic consumer will have new tendencies and places primary emphasis on trust. What can you do as an organization to help reduce the fears and anxieties your customers have?
Communication and trust are built on transparency, when there is perceived deception from a consumer lens it becomes very difficult for a business to rebuild that trust and gain back loyalty. According to the EY Future Consumer Index just 21 percent of consumers trust brands, and 20 percent trust retailers. Consumers are realizing that COVID19 and its effects across all aspects fo their lives will continue for some time, it becomes important that businesses shift their models, communications, and operating procedures to meet consumers’ new expectations of them by reinforcing trusted relationships. Especially now when the share of wallet has been disrupted with closures or supply chain issues across industries consumers are seeking alternatives and looking for organizations that are prioritizing their needs above all. Success may depend on how well a brand can pivot, communicate, and be transparent in how they are keeping consumers health and safety at the forefront.
Consumers have new priorities
Consumers are cutting back or changing spending patterns by staying home rather than going out to eat, ordering gifts and clothing online, and generally spending less on recreation and non-essential purchases.
According to a recent international study by McKinsey & Company, more than 75% of consumers in the United States have changed their shopping behavior during the pandemic, and upwards of 60% of those consumers plan to continue with their new behavior even as restrictions are lifted.
For business owners, this presents new hurdles. Facebook’s State of Small Business Report shows that 20% of small business owners said their biggest challenge during the crisis would be lack of demand.
Of survey respondents in the U.S., 21% said that the most important factor for them when deciding on a product is now healthy and hygienic packaging, and 26% said the most important factor is how well companies take care of their employees. In some ways, this can be a boon for small businesses, as people are focusing on local, sustainable purchases that fit their new spending patterns.
Rebuilding, reinventing and reopening safely
According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, an increasing number of small business owners believe that economic recovery will be prolonged. As of the end of June, 55% of owners surveyed believed it would take six months to a year for the business climate to return to normal, up from 50% in May and 46% in April.
Since it seems that Covid-19 will not be disappearing any time soon, businesses, especially customer-facing ones, are adapting and integrating protocols and best practices into their systems to mitigate risks and protect the health of their customers and employees.
Many are also looking for innovative, cost-effective ways to drive sales, and being ahead of the curve in protecting their staff and customers’ health is a smart way to do it.
Technology like Klen provides an agile approach for businesses to build consumer trust as they navigate this crisis and beyond. The proprietary AI also delivers business insights and recommendations that help businesses determine what new procedures customers value so that they can adapt their protocols.
Adopting detailed, thorough sanitation and distancing protocols above and beyond the local requirements and CDC recommendations can go a long way towards counteracting the drop in consumer confidence that could shadow economic recovery.
Keeping up with changing regulations at the federal, state and local levels and ensuring that customers are aware of the measures your business is implementing to ensure health and that of your employees is an essential part of moving forward. Klen is focused on helping businesses rebound and build a better way forward in this new economic environment.
Organizations need to communicate clearly, set reasonable prices (resist surge pricing), and provide a consistent level of service. Trust is built on a relationship with customers and relationships are built on communication.