Whether in your personal or professional life, everything is now segmented into two eras: pre-pandemic and post-pandemic.
At home you've experienced the transition to remote work, juggling kids, work and other responsibilities. Maybe you've even implemented a new workout routine to reach your goals of a healthier and more balanced lifestyle.
Well, the fact of it is, your customers are no different. The question is: What are your customers really expecting from brands post pandemic?
Let's explore 5 expectations that your customers will have for your business following Covid-19.
Greater weight is now being placed on brand trust according to the American Marketing Association - in fact, this emphasis has increased by 47% since 2009. However, brand trust doesn't just come from nowhere. It is connected with corporate social responsibility. That's right. Consumers have been carefully watching your business's activity in this area during the pandemic.
The demand for companies to take on more social responsibility cannot be ignored. But, the good news is that by establishing trust with your customers, it allows you to have more flexibility and experimental space in terms of products and services because through trust, your brand has creates loyalty.
With the vast amount of data collected on individuals, consumers are increasingly expecting tailored and customized experiences - think Amazon shopping, Google search results and suggestions, and Facebook advertisement optimizations.
Even the Harvard Business Review has this to say:
“The Covid-19 crisis has reinforced what we already know: that brands must communicate in very local and precise terms, targeting specific consumers based on their circumstances and what is most relevant to them.”
Personalization goes beyond segmenting your target market into broad demographics like age and gender. Customers want you to meet them where they're at, understanding their life experiences and emotions, and helping them solve issues they might face in these areas.
Going hand-in-hand with personalization is the customer experience or journey. You've heard before that without a strong online presence and mobile friendly methods for customer interaction, you won't get very far.
Post-Covid-19 consumers are expecting their digital experiences to be "frictionless, anticipatory, relevant, and connected."
Your website doesn't load quickly enough?
One page of your website can't be read on tablet?
Customer service takes longer than 24 hours to respond?
Your advertisement is in the customer's target language, but when they click the link to purchase, they can't understand anything?
Well, your customer might have just moved on.
Consideration needs to be given to the entirety of the customer journey, making it as smooth and enjoyable as possible. In this way you ensure the customer responds to your call to action as you intended.
Similar to building trust, possessing values that your customer also deems important is essential in the post-pandemic world. Although factors such as price and experience continue to be important, social and environmental factors increasingly carry more weight in purchasing decisions.
Some data even shows that consumers are willing to pay premiums for products or services that align with their values. According to the Harvard Business Reviews consumer segmentation data, more than 30% of consumers place priority on social and environmental issues, which includes minimizing their ecological footprint and purchasing from companies that are honest and transparent.
As you might have noticed already, your products, services and prices are no longer what can make you stand out from the crowd; it's your company values and how you communicate those to your customers.
The current societal norm: being connected 24/7 through technology, whether it be Zoom, Skype, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, or any other social media to people, companies, and groups locally and internationally.
The majority of marketers understand this, as a survey from the American Marketing Association indicated that almost 85% of marketers have used social media to build their brand during the pandemic.
However, it would be fair to ask how much of this is dedicated to customer retention. In all honesty, if you don't stay in the forefront of your customer's mind then you will be forgotten.
This is evident because as much as 61% of consumers were willing to consider white label products during lockdown. You could chalk this up to price or quality, but could it also be possible that these customers no longer felt understood by their previous brands? In other words, they felt a lack of connection.
We all know that connection is everything, even before the pandemic (ex. rise of influencer marketing). However, this element will be even more important post pandemic.
Your consumers are demanding ever more personalization, customization, connection, trust, and transparency. It's no longer just about what kind of services or products you offer or the kinds of prices and quality you can produce. Keywords in the post coronavirus market are experience and customer journey.
This means from your website to your product to your customer service to your social media engagement, everything should be highly tailored to your target customers and adapted especially to them. Following the shared experiences of the pandemic, everyone just wants to be understood and connected.