Four Ways to Reach and Retain Today’s Consumers
February 15, 2022
If the pandemic has taught us anything, it’s that while consumers may expect and appreciate the convenience of emerging technology and e-commerce, they still crave the human-to-human experience.
After two years of on-and-off shut-downs, people are ready to see and be seen, especially when it comes to personalized business transactions. It’s a strategy that the retail and entertainment industries have adopted, and one that Harland Clarke/Vericast believes all organizations should follow.
The Strategic Link partner shares four ways to reach and retain today’s consumers:
1. Make emotional connections.
Empathy-based marketing is seeing through the eyes of consumers. To truly empathize with consumers, you must first understand who they are and how their behavior has changed over the past few years. Consumers want to talk to real people who care. Although technology and innovation continually transform how consumers and companies engage and interact, the need — and desire — for human connection remains strong. With many Americans working from home full-time, they crave more human connection. It lets them know there’s a living, breathing person — not a digital bot or algorithm — helping them make important decisions that affect their everyday lives.
2. Build relationships, deliver value.
Making connections is the first step in creating long-term success. Many credit unions offer valuable products and services to get current and potential members in the door, but the credit unions that offer ongoing support over time create relationships that last. It’s critical to respond to members’ needs by learning more about them. Consumers are looking for experts who can answer their financial questions: What do I need now? What do I need for the future?
3. Promote environmental and social responsibility.
According to Harland Clarke/Vericast’s 2021 Consumer Intel Report, “The Cautious Return to a New World,” 54% of consumers are more likely to be loyal to a brand or a company that shares its efforts to be environmentally responsible or has sustainable/ethical business practices. In fact, they don’t just prefer socially responsible organizations; they actively seek them out.
Credit unions are ahead of the game in this aspect because they’re known to connect with their communities by bringing attention to local issues through charity work or community impact projects. It’s one way credit unions differ from other financial services providers, and it’s one reason members feel good about trusting them with their financial well-being.
4. Build trust.
Trust, confidence, and credibility are best built through local, targeted community investment. This applies to larger credit unions, too. It’s possible to be big and still think locally. Listen to your frontline staff, who live, work, and play where your members bank, to identify ways to be present in your local communities. It’s crucial to remember trust is earned. Be authentic. Think value over profit. Be approachable and accessible. Back up your promises. These are all the key qualities of successful retail businesses that share a vision of building strong consumer relationships that grow and last.