The service industry has been constantly evolving over the past 25 years. Eric Douay, a business specialist with Fair Merchant Solutions, has identified some main areas of change as well as the pros and cons of shifts in the industry.
First of all, it is no longer enough to promote the features of a product or service and simply wait for customers to get in the literal or figurative door. Professionals need more than ever to understand the importance of emphasizing the benefits of their product or service to their clientele, to actively create value attraction and build loyalty. According to a recent survey, loyalty programs alone based on rewarding customers for frequency of use are by no means automatically effective in retaining customers.
Secondly, a shift in the customer experience has occurred. The one-size-fits-all marketing model is now outdated. Service professionals must understand the essence of market segmentation. For example, baby boomers do not seek the same experience as the millennials. Business owners and operators need to know exactly which customers they want to attract, in order to know which product or service they should promote and how it should be marketed to a particular demographic.
Lastly, there has been a seismic shift in technology. Many tasks have been automated and many jobs eliminated. The rapid evolution of technology, however, presents tremendous opportunity for a variety of industries. Technology aides in the streamlining of work processes as well as the building of brand awareness at a fraction of the traditional cost. It provides the capability to reach out to customers across the globe via the internet, using company websites and social media platforms. All of these technological advancements make marketing more efficient and affordable than ever before. While technology is not the answer, per se, to building a business, it offers many cost-effective tools and opportunities.
Eric Douay explains, “Good service is no longer enough to keep your customers satisfied and wanting more. Great service has become the minimum ticket for attracting the customer’s attention.” Now the question becomes: what do we do once we have their attention? How do we keep their attention and how do we turn them into our biggest supporters? In our fast-paced and competitive society, there’s no time for guesswork. You can lose a customer in the time it takes to click a mouse or close a window on the computer. For this reason, more and more merchants are hiring companies such as Fair Merchant Solutions to assess their core business strategies, including all the ways they are or could be identifying, attracting, impacting, and retaining customers. Fair Merchant Solutions analyzes your business from the inside out and crafts an individualized action plans for the acceleration of your business growth and profit.