Gulf Shores, AL – It is not easy to manage a business in general, let alone one in the wake a natural disaster. And that is what this pandemic is, a natural disaster. However, it is doubly frustrating because it is not a threat that you see or fight. For the most part it is invisible to the naked eye, and not everyone sees the impact that it could have right away. So, this creates a high level of uncertainty with everyone about everything. And that uncertainty causes strains on everything. Including the relationships between customers and small business owners.
Now that we are in a point in time where people are tired of waiting and are ready to act. But things are still uncertain, and it isn’t as though we have a cure for Covid-19. We are just trying to cause the least amount of damage as possible while getting on with our lives. So, what can business owners and customers do to get things to start working again? What can both sides do to build a sense of trust with one another? Let’s analyze it.
Usually to get to the root of a problem, marketers and salesmen alike look for what we call ‘pain points’. A pain point is just a term that means a specific problem that requires solving through means of an exchange. Customers have them, and small businesses have them. Where it gets tricky is that some people are not good at defining it for themselves, or explaining what they need to the person who they seek help from. This often causes friction between customer and business owner because either one or both parties are either not aware of what their needs are, or how to give it to them directly.
Luckily for both parties, there are a few categories of pain points that make it easier for both customers and for business owners to pick up on.
According to Wordstream, the main pain points are. “
- Financial : This one out of the four sounds the most obvious. If a customer is worried about spending too much money, or a business is worried about profit, this is most likely their pain point.
- Productivity: Usually , this pain point is in regards to time. If something is inefficient, or is not timely then customers or business owners will be willing to sacrifice finances to save time.
- Process : This type of pain point is close to productivity but it is less about time and more about function. Customers and Business owners will often sacrifice productivity and finance to ensure the quality of a product or service.
- Support : Not all customers or business owners expect to be knowledgeable in every little thing about the product, customization, or what is expected out of the buying process. This is where support comes in. If a customer can get support every step of the way when buying a house, then they will be more likely to pay more money or spend more time. “
What Pain Points did Covid-19 Expose for Small Businesses and Customers?
Now that we have that out of the way, we need to look at Covid 19 did. We need to ask the hard question. “How did this impact my business?” “What circumstances changed the environment around my business?” “What do I need right now?” When you look at it honestly you might be able to find the answer for yourself.
Small businesses, especially ones that come in close contact with people, have taken a hit in productivity, and finance. And it makes sense. Less demand means less production and that creates fewer opportunities for revenue. Customers are also taking the hit with this social distancing thing. They are making less money and are feeling less productive because they are slowing down from their usual hurried pace.
But that isn’t a bad thing. It just means that there is a different set of rules for customers and business owners alike. But what are those changes?
- We have an abundance of time
The public as well as employees are far more concerned about their health than they are about speed. So, let’s use that time to our advantage. How? By focusing on quality over quantity. The time is there and even the normally busiest of places are not experiencing the sheer quantity of customer flow. So they can make up the difference with quality.
- We have an abundance of space
Because less people are going out, the few people who don’t have that luxury, like essential workers are understandably keeping physical contact to a bare minimum. So, revamp your business model and policies to decrease the amount of close contact between people.
- We have a common tragedy
Much like the aftermath of Sept 11, 2001, everyone is experiencing some after effect of this tragedy. Whether it is the loss of a loved one, going through the disease themselves or people who are working themselves to death to keep people fed, everyone is impacted in some way, shape or form. This type of universal commonality is rare. Use that to your advantage.
People are much likely to do business with people that understand them. That is why we have demography in the first place. So, when you offer them support, you are just going to get better results than if you were to simply expect them to figure out what to do. And since we just established that we have the time and space, it is a perfect opportunity to use that as a resource to get the ball rolling. Understanding and common ground is what will make the transition easier for both small businesses and their customers. That is what will help during revival.