How to ensure that your brand appeals to a different, post-lockdown consumer | Global Franchise
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Sunday 2nd October, 2022

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How to ensure that your brand appeals to a different, post-lockdown consumer

Insight

How to ensure that your brand appeals to a different, post-lockdown consumer

Here are three tips for rebuilding an exceptional in-person customer experience post-pandemic

Here are three tips for rebuilding an exceptional in-person customer experience post-pandemic.

COVID-19 has brought forth a ‘new consumer’ that is more thoughtful and selective in their decision-making, seeking out brands they trust.

Companies that successfully respond to this new consumer by rebuilding an exceptional customer experience will be the ones to thrive post-pandemic. But how does one achieve this?

To understand how to react as a business, you must become consumer-centric by focusing on shifts in values, behavior, and priorities. This will become a natural, ongoing process of remaining vigilant and observing changes in consumer preferences so that your brand can innovate, adapt, and meet the needs and wants of the post-pandemic customer.

At Re-Bath, we understand that customers are the lifeblood of our organization and enable our 100-plus franchise locations the ability to grow and thrive. That’s why during the pandemic we rolled out all-new safety-first protocols while quickly adjusting how we interacted with consumers. This created an opportunity for our franchisees to continue to provide their services in a way that consumers were comfortable and ultimately resulted in an immediate uptick in consumer leads that converted to sales throughout 2020.

This same approach is being taken post-pandemic – prioritizing the consumer. There is immense opportunity to deliver exceptional in-person experiences that in turn establish and build relationships that drive brand value and overall performance. Here’s how.

1. Empathy becomes the core of customer service

There’s no doubt that consumers have a deep understanding of how small businesses have been heavily impacted by the pandemic. But, in the same vein, the expectation is that small businesses are empathetic to the impact the pandemic has had on consumers.

As a result, customer empathy will play a critical role in rebuilding an exceptional customer experience. Franchise brands must actively demonstrate that they care and that the safety and well-being of their employees and customers remain a top priority. You must also commit to actively listening to your customers – whether that be through in-person interactions, surveys, or business reviews – this will allow you to gain a deeper understanding of them and deliver on their expectations.

Regardless of how many innovations or digital services have taken place throughout the pandemic, people still purchase from businesses where they feel safe, most comfortable, and have an existing brand trust. Strive to establish a positive emotional connection with customers – it will lead to consistent and reliable results.

2. Become experience-centric by connecting the customer and employee

As mentioned previously, establishing an emotional connection with the customer is critical – one of the best opportunities to establish that connection is through the experience with your brand.

More attention needs to be placed on perfecting the personalized interaction between the customer and the employee during the visit. While many franchise brands have made impressive digital improvements amid the pandemic, equal attention should be placed on energizing frontline workers to rebuild and reinvigorate the customer experience. This may require enhanced training, new incentives, key messages from leadership. Energized and motivated employees who are equipped with the resources they need to deliver on your brand promise will have a direct impact on the customer experience. They hold the power in ensuring whether or not the customer leaves the experience feeling emotionally satisfied.

“Regardless of how many innovations or digital services have taken place throughout the pandemic, people still purchase from businesses where they feel safe, most comfortable, and have an existing brand trust”

Remember, too, that while most brands have integrated new digital technologies in their business models as a result of the pandemic, you must not lose sight of the value in authentic human connection and ‘real’ experiences that make your brand great.

3. Transparency reigns supreme

If the pandemic taught us anything, it is that things change rapidly and consumer sentiment and behavior evolve in response. This requires a new level of improved communication and transparency with customers in order to gain and rebuild trust.

The business environment has changed and the way you communicate with your customers must be elevated. Continue to inform customers about changes and updates to operations, services, safety protocols, new offerings, and more. When you show that you are being proactive and motivated by your customers’ best interests, you are building their confidence in your brand. It is critical to go above and beyond with every detail in order to maximize transparency – something consumers now come to expect. Franchise brands that are prevailing are the ones that have acted compassionately and sensitively toward consumers and are reprioritizing the customer service experience. With a customer-centric mindset, franchise businesses can emerge from the pandemic having strengthened their relationships with customers – in turn, impacting bottom-line results.

THE AUTHOR

Brad Hillier is CEO of Re-Bath, the nation’s premier bathroom remodeling franchise.

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