Companies in the Age of Confidence

Making safety and hygiene protocols visible, communicating the cases of covid-19 of its personnel and applying technology in processes to generate trust among its clients are some of the changes that companies must apply in this new business context.

Thursday, May 14, 2020

The health emergency and the economic crisis resulting from the covid-19 outbreak changed everything at a global level. For example, in the past people talked about consumer loyalty, which was connected to a certain confidence, repurchase, growth in consumption of products and services, new trends, which are now old, explains a publication of the Guatemalan Association of Exporters (Agexport).

See "New Commercial Reality: How to Reach Customers"

From the Agexport report:

Confidence will be an important part for companies to be able to market in their countries and of course outside them. The new consumer has many questions in their mental scenario, some of which are:

Who touched this product?
Is it safe to eat or use this?
Is the person talking to me infected or someone in their family?
Will I be quarantined in the country I am going to?
Where? and for how long?
How does eating this help immunity?
How many infected people will have come in contact with what I have in my hands?

You may also be interested in: "E-Commerce is Gaining Ground in the Region"

Four steps to generate confidence with the consumer, which will be the cornerstone for marketing:

1. Protocols: All product and service companies must have their protocols visible, both in the areas of service or customer care, advisors, sales, among others. All customer service areas must know the protocol that is activated in their areas and throughout the organization in case of a person infected by a virus or other highly contagious disease.

Having visible protocols nowadays is part of telling clients, "we are ready," you should not improvise if something happens, and you know how to do it, you know your processes, scopes and you are training to activate your measures designed with international trends, endorsed and aligned to the strictest standards of hygiene, immunity, traceability and quality assurance.

2. Transparency: It is remarkable to communicate the cases by COVID-19 and the activation of protocols and follow-up to the active cases has generated to the companies, as well as the importance that every day will gain more and more transparency to the information about infections.

A good risk analysis must be carried out with the proper contingency plans which will help the client know that their supplier is keeping them informed, that they are transparent with their information and that they have a contingency plan to ensure that they continue to be their reliable supplier of products or services.

3. Empathy: The company deciding to ignore the transformation of their customers' preferences and continue with the same business model because it has worked before for a long time and successfully, will lose time and money to reach unquestionable conclusions that should be reached now, so it is recommended to be empathetic with the environment and listen to their customers.

Underestimate or devalue the concern of customers, consider them excessive or unfounded fears, will not help you resolve to address those pains and that your customer is considered understood and served by your company, today is generated value through trust and that confidence comes with the level of understanding that shows the company about the doubts and fears even the customer.

4. Technology: The companies must advise themselves, choose and learn to implement technology in their processes, in their way of communicating with their clients and key actors. This requires training and accelerating the digitalization inside the companies to advance towards a new era where the companies use technology as a differentiator and facilitator to attend to their needs.

The technology will be an ally to generate confidence in the consumer because it will be through the level of implementation of it in the companies, that many make business and consumer decisions.

In this scenario of change in consumer habits in the face of the new commercial reality, CentralAmericaData has information on the interests, preferences and characteristics of consumers in Central American countries. By combining socio-demographic variables with mining methods and macrodata analysis, we can identify consumer behavior patterns in any market.

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Given the need to understand customer behavior in the digital environment, together with the urgency for companies to promote remote work, an ideal scenario has been created for the demand for cloud services to increase exponentially.

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New Normal: Beyond Digitalization

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The abrupt change in consumer habits forced companies to digitalize their operations and sales, but the challenges do not stop there, as companies will have to implement effective logistics systems to reach their customers.

In the current scenario emerging in an accelerated way due to the spread of covid-19, it is estimated that the digitalization plans that companies were planning to execute in a period of 1 to 3 years, are now being implemented in a few weeks.

Retail: Challenges of the On-Site Experience

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Given the gradual return to physical stores, customers will appreciate it if businesses disinfect stores several times a day, if other visitors are required to clean their hands before entering, and if employees use protective equipment at all times.

Although in this context of the spread of covid-19, digital channels have gained ground in Central American markets and this trend is expected to continue in the coming months and years, there are commercial establishments that will have to adjust their face-to-face sales strategy to the demands of the new normality, since there will always be customers who prefer to continue shopping in person.

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