According to recent reports, millennials, also known as Generation Y, are the chief wage earners in India with a 47% share in the working age population. Not only do they make up majority of the population, but also have a higher disposable income and are constantly connected digitally. On the other hand, we have Gen Z, which is the most ethnically diverse generation. This is the generation that has not spent a day without internet and depend on it for everything from discovery and decision making to purchasing.
So, as a business owner, you need to understand that you are addressing a consumer base that is both savvy and aware. They’re always on the lookout for businesses that provide tailor-made services, are responsive, and understand the power of social media.
Let this be your mantra: 2Ws and 1H – Who they are, What they want, and How they want it.
Here is a list of the top 5 mistakes business owners must avoid, if they want to retain their consumers.
- 1 Not being active on Social Media
Businesses should be present where Gen Y & Z spend most of their time – online. Having an active social media presence has never been more important from a marketing standpoint than today. Consumers are constantly connected to social platforms and online content through their mobile devices. Therefore, it’s paramount that businesses leverage these platforms where they can target their audience and generate engaging ads and other forms of content that will catch the attention of their consumers.
Another trend that is inching its way towards popularity is the ability to purchase directly from social media. This offers great convenience for consumers. Therefore, it’s crucial that local businesses build a strong brand presence and run creative campaigns on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, and YouTube.
- 2 Having poor or no customer service
I feel that for every business, the goal should be to not only drive more number of customers, but also to retain them and encourage them to be loyal. This especially holds true for local businesses.
You need to always realise that your consumers are not only investing their time and money on your service/product, but they’re also trusting you and believe that you will understand and listen to their problems. Your customer service is of utmost importance if you want to retain your consumers. If you’re not responding to phone calls or emails, you’re losing prospects. If you’re not getting back to people after promising something, you’re losing credibility.
- 3 Not having local reviews
We all like to invest on products and services that have a good record. If you don’t have any reviews to show, it will impact your growth and search rankings. Your consumers will not have anything to measure your success, and you will not be considered as a competitive brand. If you don’t have any reviews, it would be advisable to focus on acquiring them through Google and other Social Media platforms.
- 4 Not having a web presence optimised for mobile
As I already mentioned in the beginning of this article, your consumers are always connected digitally through their mobile devices. It is critical for your website be optimized for mobile browsers and tablets. One should either consider a site specifically for mobile, or have a flexible design.
- 5 Having inaccurate and inconsistent business information
This is a genuine problem, which many businesses in India (small or big) have never paid enough attention to. A lot of businesses will mention numbers and details on Google which are outdated and obsolete. Businesses having inaccurate information online, is a potential disadvantage, and should be avoided at all costs. Not only does it make your business look bad, but you’re causing a lot of inconvenience to the consumers.
However big or small your business is, these are a few basic factors that you need to keep in mind and avoid. One needs to understand that the consumer landscape in India has changed drastically; consumers are now more informed and have access to many alternatives. They seldom leave a business website/store with an unbiased impression. As for most, your local business is an unknown entity, so their first impression can either make or break your business. We all know the power of word-of-mouth marketing. It’s up to you if you want it to work in your favour or against it.
Moreover, because so many local businesses neglect these so called “small” problems, by avoiding them you will have an edge over your competition and successfully increase your customer base.
Author- Ashwin Ramesh, CEO and Founder, Synup.