It’s not just ‘back to school’ for kids; businesses all over the world are spending their time looking for more ways to grow customer loyalty. ‘Longevity’ is no longer synonymous with ‘guaranteed business’. What worked fifty, twenty, or even just a year ago are, well, “so last year.” Here, BARE International shares an article by Zeynep Ilgaz for Entrepreneur on how Old-School Industries Require New-School Customer Experience.

‘Millennials are slowly but surely becoming the coveted buyers of not only B2C, but also B2B products and services. According to Accenture, millennials spend roughly $600 billion per year, and Pew Research Center tells us that this age group now makes up the bulk of the U.S. workforce. With this in mind, be advised that it would be a big mistake for your or any other brand to not adapt to millennials’ behaviors and preferred experiences.

Over the past few years, our old-school company realized we needed to adjust our approach for reaching the next generation of consumers in order to maximize growth potential. So, here are the steps we took:

1. Personalize the experience.

Customers no longer buy products and services. They purchase experiences by way of products and services. Therefore, businesses skilled at delivering more personalized experiences will end up driving customers through their doors again and again. Let’s say, for example, that you’re able to recall a customer’s name. In that case, 56 percent of consumers said that they’d be more likely to come back (Accenture). Now say you can recollect a person’s past purchases — that would spur another 65 percent to return. An Infosys report echoed these findings, reporting that 31 percent of consumers surveyed wanted a more personalized shopping experience. In other words, personalization is a surefire way to not only bring customers on board, but also keep them there.

2. Offer round-the-clock service.

Customers value the independence to gather information and make purchases wherever and whenever they like. If you’re not catering to these now-basic needs, trust that someone else is. And you could be guiding your business right into the arms of the competition. According to a 2017 RetailDive survey, 65 percent of consumers conduct online research before deciding to buy. Additionally, eMarketer recently revealed that two-thirds of millennials surveyed said they’d rather shop online than in a brick-and-mortar store. It’s a no-brainer to give customers the opportunity to order online, but you should also post research about your offerings to illustrate how your business is the perfect solution to customers’ problems. Our company did just that with great results. We also took it a step further by offering 24/7 live chat for questions and complaints.

3. Pepper the internet with helpful content.

A website can be a bit like an island. You’ll stock it with all the necessary supplies, but still need to give people a means of getting there if you want them to use it. Inbound marketing is that means. According to research from HubSpot, just 16 percent of marketers polled said that outbound practices provided high-quality leads. That’s not much to rely on. Consumers don’t want a hard sell; they just want some help. By lending your expertise and offering a little assistance, you become a trusted ally and more likely to attract and keep business. In fact, content marketing delivers more than three times as many leads as outbound marketing does, according to the Content Marketing Institute. It also costs 62 percent less!

Still, to be successful, content marketing requires a clear and consistent strategy. The goal is to build a massive library of content that organically appears in search results and can be found on third-party sites. Strategic content serves as the boat leading consumers back to your site. Of course, success in this realm takes time and effort; so don’t hesitate to find contractors who can help.

Whether you’re selling old-school skateboards to teens or new-school software to CEOs, the current era calls for a modernized customer experience that mirrors how people want to buy products. Old is new again.

In a world where people do almost everything virtually, you’d be surprised by how many businesses have yet to adapt. At this point, it’s critical for companies in old-school industries to ditch the “we’ve always done things this way” mindset and begin listening to what consumers want — nay, expect — and what that is, is a personalized digital experience.’

Is your business going to outlast your competition? Assess the strengths and weaknesses of competitors using real-time data. BARE International’s Competitor Analysis reports provide comprehensive insights geared to give you the industry advantage. Ask us how.

Read the full article at the source here.


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