At the beginning of this three-part series on how your business can thrive post-pandemic, we’re exploring the magic of kindness.
I know what you’re thinking, it sounds a little cheesy and hippie-dippie, but give kindness a chance. Customers actually want to buy from a business that cares.
The pandemic has changed everyone. It has changed the way we communicate, work, socialize, and so much more. Let’s take a look at the significant change in how we perceive our humanity and kindness in business.
Kindness can be exemplified by social justice and customer service.
There was a seven-year-long movement that hit its peak during the pandemic: Black Lives Matter. Black Lives Matter highlighted and sought changes in race relations and particularly in the experience of Black Americans in the United States. The movement called out police brutality, the justice system, and the history of systemic racism. The movement spread like wildfire across the entire world, receiving support across cultures, nations, and even companies.
When companies decided to speak up in support of Black Lives Matter, they were met with thankfulness, joy, and even loyalty from their supporters and followers of the social movement. While the opposition was met by groups deciding to pull their support as customers, people wanted to make sure that any promises or support were not performative.
Therefore, participating in grandiose actions on the behalf of big brands has made imprints on consumers. For example, tech brands have donated millions to promote causes such as the changes in voting rights in the U.S.A., Black Lives Matter, Stop Asian Hate, and even volunteer work.
While they’re beginning to position themselves in a positive light, they have also made similar donations to groups or individuals who are working to end those movements. In addition, their employment relationship and company culture don’t align with social movements that they claim to fully support.
In these situations, their “empty’ donations, promises, and gestures create the idea in the consumer’s mind that they are using kindness as manipulation rather than being genuinely altruistic. Therefore, you must be altruistic to meet and keep the consumer of today.
You may not be able to make big gestures, but the number one way you can keep your customers is quite simple: exemplary customer service. According to the GWI (Mander),
“3 out of 5 internet users say that bad customer service would negatively affect their purchasing decisions, while nearly half say that bad press would do the same.”
Great customer service in 2021 is more than hassle-free returns or surveys. It includes:
- Easy digital experience
- Treating customers with respect
- Charitable giving
- Holding themselves accountable
Since your competition is simply a click away, you will win your target audience by everyday interactions and being personable in conjunction with being sensitive to social issues. Some companies have raised the bar of customer service by increasing their care and compassion. For example, Zappos implemented “a mental care hotline for customers to call for any reason, and Hallmark gave away millions of free greeting cards (Mander).”
If you are a smaller organization, you may support local charitable organizations by volunteering or by highlighting a cause on your social media platforms.
In conclusion, kindness goes the distance in social justice and customer service. Don’t get lost in trying to meet every single need. Instead, focus on your customer’s biggest issues with compassion and care. Your customers will thank you, stick with you, and never forget you.
In the next section of this Thrive Post-Pandemic Three-Part Series, we’ll look at how online shopping is still changing and how to position your brand for success.
The future is here.
The digital future will reward those who can take advantage of it. To this end, we are constantly learning, and staying abreast of advancements and updates to keep our clients ahead of the game online. We’re obsessed with helping you achieve your objectives even in a changing landscape. Learn more about how we can help you get more done.