One of the outcomes of the explosion in technology over the last ten years has been our addiction to creating more tools, apps, notifications, zaps, pings and anything else that will seemingly make our life better. This has been a high cost to many businesses in terms of their customer relationships, often without them realising it. The challenge now is to turn that around and create better connections with your audience to help increase the value of your brand.
No matter how many new tools, apps, devices or ‘human-like’ gadgets that are created for us, none of these will ever replace a human and the magnificence of the human experience. Robots are machines; humans are complex multi-faceted beings who are driven by different types of inputs, including emotions.
The subtlety and complexity of the human being are beyond most people’s ability to comprehend! So it is almost laughable even to think a piece of technology could come close to replacing us.
Where technology has been successful is in helping humans to carry out processes that are task-based or an outcome of clearly defined inputs or conditions. They can help a human with a task based on logic – but not with the complex interweaving of emotions, thought, subconscious programming, intuition, wisdom, and everything else.
The technology we have available today in the business world is very impressive but often overwhelming. Many business owners love the evolution of technology and seek to implement it into their lives wherever they can. However, technology has never been able to properly replicate humans when it comes to the Customer Journey engagement touchpoints – simply because people need people. Real people!
Whilst technology has tried to create better connections for you with your audience to help increase the value of your brand, it hasn’t been very successful; this is where many businesses have been left with issues in their Customer Journey and many gaps appearing that are costing them dearly.
Humans are evolving beings – and our complexity and vastness shouldn’t ever be taken for granted or seen as a simple, static thing, just as nature evolves, so do we.
In the business world, we have evolved our use of technology in different ways and also as people we have developed our marketing paradigms, our expectations, and how we do business. This is where we have created gaps and issues with our Customer Journeys, which many people are still yet to discover!
Since the Economic Crash of 2020 here in Australia, we have seen businesses decimated and held together with government grants and band-aid solutions. Some businesses have flown along during this time whilst others have struggled. One thing that always happens during and after an economic recession is that markets and industries shift and change. Just as in nature, industries also morph according to their environments and the effects of external forces.
So what does this mean for the modern business today? And how is this relevant to your customer journey? Let me explain further, as they are closely interrelated.
A colleague of mine, Darren Shirlaw (Co-Founder of BoB), speaks openly about the nuances of economic downturns and the impacts on businesses. He explains that as businesses move out of the Shock and Recovery phases of this L-shaped recession, they will move into a new phase of growth, that will see winners and losers in each industry. Each industry evolves and creates new demands and needs, and the biggest of these is the consumer’s need for connection. This need increases after the Shock phase, and once we enter the Recovery phase consumers are looking for more connection, more understanding and a place to feel safe. There is a whole other topic around this that we can explore separately!
It’s at this point right now in the Recovery phase of the current recession where businesses need to respond to the changing needs of their customers and innovate to stay current.
Many don’t; they hold on fast to their existing business and old ways with the hope that they will be okay. Hope won’t stick though, and the changing forces of business will ensure that only those who innovate and meet the NEW needs of consumers, survive.
Hopefully, now you’ve got a good sense of why you need to learn how to create better connections with your audience to help increase the value of your brand.
It’s your Brand (i.e. the full end to end experience of your business) that is going to help your business survive this downturn and take you forward into the Growth phase and the future.
To create better connections with your audience, it requires some key elements:
People need understanding, especially now in these turbulent times. So your target audience’s needs have already shifted to needing more understanding (which comes from an emotional place) rather than just knowledge. They will be in a degree of pain and discomfort, just as you are, and so as you are trying to sell them a product – they won’t be responding to you unless you show understanding first.
People are not going to be as ready and willing to jump at your product as they were before the downturn when they were in a different environment. They will need more time to make purchase decisions and consider their options and if they should spend their money and if it’s necessary. Patience is key.
3. Human Interaction
More than ever, people are craving actual human interaction, which is understandable given the situation of being locked down and being separate from others. This, combined with our need for understanding, is driving up people’s unconsciously driven need for more human interaction.
4. More Understanding
Yes, they need even more understanding! You need to go deep into what their new struggles are and pain points, and what is now their most urgent need. Consider how this has changed since the downturn and listen to what they are asking and talking about. Mostly you will notice that people need a space to connect and feel understood, and that is the highest need for them right now – over and above their need for your product benefits!
Your customers will need you to be flexible in the way you price your products, and even deliver your products. During this time of economic downturn, you will find that the way you packaged, produced, or presented your products previously may not be what your customers want anymore. So ensure you find out what it is that they do need and what you need to innovate as a result.
The outcome of all of these better connections is an innovated experience for your Customer Journey. Your Brand will be revived and will show up in your market as being fresh, real and innovative.
So you can see that relying on technology alone is not going to solve your Customer Journey gaps and issues. Technology can help you with basic tasks and get you from A to B, but it’s not going to create better connections with your audience that will help increase the value of your brand. That is something that YOU need to do, and when you do, your business and your target audience will both reap the benefits – in many different ways.
Join us for our upcoming Live Class where you can learn:
- How you can create a more authentic connection with your audience
- The new way to approach your connections that will optimise your business
- What your audience needs right now to choose you over your competitors