Focus: Study the Customer, Get Results
Alina Peon | Cool Nerds Marketing Intern
The recent COVID-19 outbreak has resulted in extended periods of time in quarantine, temporary closure of restaurants and supermarkets, and an increase in delivery and online shopping services. As people stay home, they are faced with one big challenge: the kitchen. For many, and in my case as well, staying home has inspired our inner chefs but the challenge to access our ingredients has been substantial – or even, the challenge to learn how to cook!
During this time, meal kits saw a sharp increase in demand and a change in brand strategy and value:
- HelloFresh stated that the “the health and well-being of customers and employees is the highest priority”
Both these quotes show a specific turn in marketing strategy during COVID-19. A more personal approach which aims at understanding the pains and concerns of the customer and working with them to achieve a successful campaign, which in return will increase demand. Focus: Study the Customer, Get Results, the title of this article is about brands understanding and empathizing with what customers are dealing with – new to cooking, tired of cooking, no access to the supermarket, etc – and personalizing their campaigns to have a personal reach, as if they were knocking on customers doors and collecting valuable data.
- Working on improving customer experience and understanding is key in driving results, demand, and profit during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Here are three key steps:
1- Understand your customers in the moment:
Surveys are a great way to feed off from data and deliver strategic marketing plans but during this time, delivering and compiling those studies has become an increased challenge so brands should instead:
- Invest in having live conversations with customers
- Direct research professionals to customer service calls
- Reach out to customers
- be productive in listening to their needs and adapting your strategy to meet solve their concerns
- be proactive in reaching out!
- Respond with concrete steps
2- Adapt your customer experience:
- Re-think your previously planned customer experience techniques and try to…
- review the current experiences you are delivering
- review the planned experiences you are planning to deliver
- pause if needed
- prioritize simplicity and clarity
3- Encourage your employees to deliver a valuable customer experience
- Employees are also faced with challenges and uncertainty
- In a crisis, customers drive up stress for employees
= Investing in employees’ well-being will improve customer experience!
HOW DOES THIS RELATE TO COOKING?
At first sight, it doesn’t but once we take a look at how meal kit delivery services are responding to demand changes during the COVID-19 outbreak, we can learn that it’s all about listening, understanding, and caring about customers experience and well-being, as HelloFresh said!
Just like any good dinner, it starts with a great recipe and for that, we need the most important ingredient: effective and personalized customer experience.
So, how does HelloFresh do it?
They make use of data and analytics to better serve customers. The details compiled by their studies help the brand to innovate in order fulfillment and shipping process – two aspects than now, more than ever, are very important.
With millions of customers around the world, HelloFresh has access to substantial volumes of data that are used, by the brand, to optimize the selection of products and streamline its operations. Because the brand operates as a subscription, this allows for access to specific data on consumer’s preferences, which is then used not only to provide tailored customer experience but also: to design a unique and effective marketing strategy.
For example, HelloFresh can keep up with food trends, health benefits, and the latest diets through these data studies and craft meal kits that fulfill the customers’ dietary needs.
Adam Kalikow, Director of Operations at the brand states “Because of the business model and the data we collect from our customers, we’re able to forecast demand a lot more effectively than a typical retail or e-commerce store selling food. Over time, we’ve been able to build up a ton of data… and develop internal proprietary algorithms that we can apply to improve that forecasting”
HelloFresh teaches us a very important lesson, that applies to any brand and not just meal kit subscriptions: TAKE THE TIME TO KNOW YOUR CUSTOMER in order to achieve growth, sustain it and most importantly, keep getting creative.