“Building Lasting Customer Loyalty Amid Inflation” by Matt Ramerman via Total Retail

“Building Lasting Customer Loyalty Amid Inflation” by Matt Ramerman via Total Retail

The COVID-19 pandemic plus the war in Ukraine created a perfect storm for inflation, and now the prices of goods and services are dominating the minds of consumers everywhere. Annual inflation rose by 8.3 percent in April, close to a 40-year high, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. Everything from food and gas to travel and housing is more expensive, which has many consumers watching their wallets and shopping around for the best prices. With many concerned about rising inflation, we can expect once-loyal customers to switch brands if it means cheaper prices. The stakes have never been higher: in addition to inflation challenges, 87 percent of consumers across all generations avoid buying from brands they don’t trust (especially boomers). Now more than ever, you need to understand what your customers are facing and ensure they both trust your brand and feel supported. Since people are increasingly using their mobile devices to shop, this means your brand must be present where your customers are, regardless of time, location or channel (e.g., SMS, Facebook Messenger, Instagram, etc.). Related story: AI in the DMs: Seizing the Social Commerce Opportunity With Conversational Messaging The Secret to Communicating With Customers: Have Open Dialogs As consumers keep a close eye on prices, ensuring they’re able to converse with your brand is key. Now is not the time to be using high-pressure, high-frequency one-way campaigns focused on driving conversions. Remember, since they’re ready, and willing, to experiment with new brands, your communications strategy with your customers needs to focus on inviting a relationship as means to build loyalty. Implementing a conversational marketing strategy not only allows you to have...
“Cure Retail Disruption With A Customer-Focused Approach” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

“Cure Retail Disruption With A Customer-Focused Approach” by Bob Phibbs via The Retail Doctor Blog

A lot of money is chasing the term of disruption in retail and examining radical disruptive trends. From innovative AI chatbots to new payment solutions, everyone is hoping to disrupt – or more accurately steal – market share from established companies the way Uber disrupted the taxi as we knew it. Yet the more profound disruption in most businesses is the everyday kind. It’s the kind of daily disturbances that interrupt a business’ ability to provide customer service, build a relationship with their customer, and entice that customer to return. It can show up in the way your existing technologies handicap you, in the training, or lack thereof, you give your employees and extends all the way to the standard you hold everyone accountable to in your organization. It’s easy to have a customer gush about a great experience they had in a store once. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. But in order to succeed, you need to be able to execute flawlessly time and time again with every customer… every time. It’s what I call being brilliant on the basics. Customer service disruptions eat away at a brand’s promise to its customers. Sloppy operation disruptions handicap many businesses, the inability to execute brilliantly, again and again, takes its toll. It’s the laziness that spills out into other departments. It’s the goal of getting someone out of your face rather than trying to fix the problem. It’s the lack of checks and balances. What is disruptive retail really about? The customer.  It can’t be all about you — It has to be all about the customer. Here’s an example of my own experience...