Are You Prepared to Meet New Customer Needs?
We’ve been forging our way through uncertainty for a few months now, and I have to say: small business owners are resilient.
In a time of stress and sadness we pivoted, we adapted, and I hope everyone, their families and their small businesses are OK.
I’ve written a lot about managing your small business during the pandemic, from “How to Pivot Your Small Business Strategy During the COVID-19 Crisis” to “How to Build a Crisis Response Landing Page”, on our website.
Now, we focus on the next step: emerging from the coronavirus pandemic not only in one piece, but as successful entrepreneurs who have learned some valuable lessons.
As we move forward, it’s obvious that some things are forever changed. In a recent survey, 81% of Canadians agreed that the crisis will create a new normal and have a lasting impact on society.
So as my province of BC, Canada starts to reopem businesses, it’s time to look at your marketing and evaluate if it still makes sense to your target audience.
How to Define Your Customers’ Needs
Let’s go backâ -all the way back to 1943, when Abraham Maslow proposed his hierarchy of needs. According to his theory, people are motivated to fulfill basic requirements (food, shelter) before they move on to more advanced ones (intimate relationships, sense of accomplishment).
During the coronavirus crisis, people were focused more closely on basic necessities like staying safe from COVID-19 and getting groceries. These differing needs may also have led them to buy things they wouldn’t normally buy, like lots of hand sanitizer or takeout food multiple times per week.
Some of the customer behaviour we saw during the pandemic may be here to stay, like:
- Continuing to wear masks in crowded areas and washing hands more frequently
- Thinking more carefully before buying “wants”
- Working/studying from home more of the time
- Choosing brands that are the most empathetic and conscious
So ask yourself: how have your customer needs changed during this time? What are they expecting from you?
How to Evolve Your Business Model to Meet New Customer Needs
Just because we’re slowly returning to a “new normal’ doesn’t mean everyone is going to be hopping on planes and heading to big parties. Especially for those who have been personally affected by COVID-19, it’s going to be hard to reintegrate back into society, so to speak.
Here are a few ways you might have to pivot to meet new customer needs:
1. Maintain/increase communication around health and safety measures.
A large part of pivoting your business model will include how you communicate with your customers.