Even pre-COVID our local businesses were changing. People were doing more online, over the internet and via instant messages or emails. There was a reduction in face-to-face interaction in many businesses.
Then COVID-19 hit, and we were all in lockdown. The internet became a lifesaver for many businesses as it enabled them to continue to operate to some extent at least when their physical premises had to close.
In this post-lockdown world, we are seeing many people returning to an in-person approach. Having been starved of contact, forced to do everything online, they are looking for personal interaction once more.
Bringing empathy into your business
But what does this mean for businesses, especially local ones like ours?
You can sum it up by saying we need to bring more empathy into our businesses by talking and marketing to our customers a little differently.
You need to show that you understand where they are coming from and that you share their challenges and concerns. This could be the key to business survival going forward.
Help people first, sell second
Perhaps the biggest way to bring empathy into your business is with your own mindset. We know we need to sell to make money, to keep our business in operation and pay our bills. But at the outset, if we approach the sales process intending to help our customers THEN make a sale, we are likely to see better results.
The old days of intrusion marketing are thankfully behind us. Rather than TV ads that badger people into buying, we have helpful leaflets that tell them about our services and how they can help them. Rather than phoning customers to pester them with follow up, we send emails or leaflets with a business card attached, maybe even including a personal note with some tips they’ll find useful.
Understanding their fears
Another way to bring empathy into your business is to realise that many people are still worried about catching COVID-19 when they step out of the door. This applies even to B2B businesses because business owners are people too.
A great way to help with this is to have signage around your shop or premises that tells people what to do. It also highlights the steps you have taken to protect them while and reassures them that you understand their worries.
You can even do a leaflet drop to tell your customers that you are open and the safety measures you have in place. This isn’t so much about selling as letting them know you are protecting them as much as possible.
Being empathetic in business
Bringing empathy into your business might sound like buzzword and not so relevant for a local business. But in these difficult times, it’s more important than ever to show you understand your customer’s challenges. Because people connect with businesses that show empathy for their feelings. And they buy from businesses they connect with.
Let’s help each other to kickstart out local businesses. Contact us for advice about printing and marketing. We’d love to help.We’d love to help.