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Good times in an uncertain world.

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Small businesses rejoice! Mr Osborne has finally given you some slack. If George had asked TMP Towers to find out how the nation was feeling about his latest Budget (a girl can dream) then small businesses would have had a lot of love to give back our Chancellor. Maybe. From next year, many small businesses won’t have to pay business rates – and even more will pay lower rates. Add to that the absence of a rise in fuel duty and things are looking rosy, right?
Not exactly…
Just in case you’ve been on a silent retreat in the Tibetan mountains for the past few months, I have to tell you that we’re living in uncertain times – and your customers are getting jittery. When Mr O took over the holding of the nation’s purse strings he assured us we’d be strolling away from the financial precipice by now, but things haven’t quite worked out. You may think the country’s doing OK and we might be – this humble consumer research consultant isn’t about to branch into politics – but the bigger global picture isn’t looking too pretty.
I might not be a political animal but my expertise lies in what’s happening for your consumers and you don’t have to look too deeply into yesterday’s statement to see that they’re nervous – and are quite right to be. Growth forecasts are down and inflation isn’t in a hurry to increase. We might be in a better place than other Western nations but the global economy remains incredibly weak and potentially volatile. Even consumers who paid little attention to yesterday’s Budget will be left with a sense of worry.

So what to do?
Let’s settle their nerves, shall we? In times of uncertainty, we need to focus in on what our customers are really looking for – and to do that you need to know why they use your business. What are they looking for when they walk through your doors, pick up the phone or log on to your website?
Well, if you look back to this year’s Superbrands survey it told us that one of the most important things we can offer is an emotional connection with our market. Research shows that if we do this, customers are 300% more likely to recommend you, 44% less likely to shop around and – here’s the deal maker – 33% less likely to quibble about the price you charge them. See, emotive user experience research always pays. What have I been telling you?
And how to do it?
Easy – put your customers at the centre of everything you do. Every time you make a decision, think about it from the perspective of the people who use your business. It’s all about having respect for them – their lives, their time and their wallets. Turns out your CEO isn’t the most important person in your organisation. Who knew?
Whenever you have contact with a customer – in whichever channel they choose to access your products and services – pay close attention. Listen. Really listen. Hear what they’re telling you and you’ll make an emotional connection that will set you apart from your competitors. For however long they’re engaging with your business, that consumer has to be the most important person in your world.
As well as putting your ears to good use, think about the personal touches your customer would appreciate from you – create a memorable moment that will have them coming back for more. Sounds like too much effort for you? Well just remember that it’s six times more expensive to win a new customer than keep a current customer happy. I think that sells itself.
And just in case that’s not enough, take a look at what an unhappy customer might do – 80% are prepared to post something negative on social media, 78% will bail on a transaction before it’s completed and 86% won’t come back to your business again.
It’s really that important.
So you might think you have fantastic customer service – but is it the service your consumers want from you? You need to judge your brand from their perspective, not your own. If the two views fit together nicely then that’s great, but if they don’t you need to ditch your ideas for what really matters to the most important people in your business. Please tell me you don’t need me to spell out who that is…
So we live in uncertain times – but by getting back to basics and emotionally connecting with your market can make sure your own business rides the waves of this current storm with style. Want to make sure you get it right? The Monachie Project are experts in understanding the emotive user experience from your customer’s perspective. It’s a sure fire way of making sure you get the important stuff right. We work our magic, you focus your business on what your market’s really looking for. Easy. So get in touch and let’s ride the waves of these uncertain times together!!!

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