When people talk about change, you generally get two responses: a look of shock and trepidation, or you get a look of excitement. As a business owner, you know all about change and what that means to your company. Customers and even business owners often resist it at all costs, but there is a time where change is necessary. Changing your customer’s behavior starts by impressing a different idea to your customer. The first step of the process as a whole is how you can make that idea stick.
As a society, we have a tendency to stick with what we know and what we’re comfortable with. At some point, that doesn’t work out well in the end. Certain actions have a way to turn people off. However, there is a strategy to help the “sell” your current and future customers to the changes you’re making, whether it’s a policy change or a product change – and other changes that the company will face.
1) Start small and communicate slowly (real small) – When communicating with your customers about change, you want to communicate small ideas about the change. Bombarding the changes in mass often lead customers to react negatively because there is a level of analysis that must take place. Communication is key, but the greatest trick is to carve out a path to change your customer’s behavior that you have to prove the value of your change. Sometimes it takes a few months to prove that value, or it may take a few years. Either way, if you’re communicating your change through email or social media, advertise your changes slowly and in small ways.
2) Change one thing at a time – When you tell your customers you are changing 8 products and changing 5 policies as it relates to eCommerce, then you are going to lose your customer. It does happen. This is one reason why Facebook rolls out updates once, maybe twice a year. When you change something, make sure you change one thing at a time (but make sure you communicate each change clearly). Changing one thing at a time, you will make the changes easier to deal with. You will also stand a better chance to keep your customer.
3) Dialog with your customers and clients – Your biggest critics are going to be your customers. Start up an open forum either online or in person and pick their brains. What a better way to achieve your success for change than with the very people that will be utilizing your products. Introduce your changes to them and outline what you hope to achieve. You might even get some really great insight that you’ll implement.