Anyone who runs a successful business will know that planning ahead is absolutely crucial. In our ever-evolving world (and particularly in our current fragile economy), you always have to stay ahead of the game. One eye on delivering today, one eye on what you will be doing tomorrow. A business that doesn't look forward is unlikely to last the distance. Whether you're predicting sales growth, setting employees' performance targets or making financial forecasts, you're always thinking about what comes next.
And this should be the same with your customer base.
All businesses must take a long-term view to customer service and always be thinking ahead to next week, next month, next year. Where will your customers come from? How will you attract them? How will you retain them?
Yes, you need to look after your current customers, but now is the time you need think about who will be buying your product or service in years to come.
Enter: Older teens and young adults!
With the rise in online shopping and internet browsing, teens and young adults no longer need to wait for their parents' recommendations on where to purchase products and services. Instead of looking to their family for insight, they do their own research, they are influenced by social media, they look to their friends and peers. They no longer need to be taken to a shop or office. They find their own routes to market and it is usually via a keyboard or phone. Are you doing enough to entice them and keep them?
Place your younger customers front and centre and build loyalty now for the future.
Why they are important?
*They have disposable income to spend
*They are starting to purchase independently from parents
*They may be renting or buying their first flat/house
*They may be buying their first car and looking for insurance
*They are travelling independently and booking hotels and holidays
*They are choosing where to drink & dine
*More and more young people are choosing to have hair and beauty treatments – and also choosing where to have them.
*They are tuned in to the digital world – 'sharing' is second nature and good experiences (or bad ones) travel fast!
In today's digital world, more and more people are turning to online ratings sites and none more so than the youth market. People are quick to share good and bad experiences online and so your client service and customer promise must be consistently upheld – for ALL customers, whatever their age.
Here at Elton Business, we practice what we preach and we too are looking to the future. As a family business we have always passed on knowledge and experience (my mum and dad both helped to shape my career) and now it's time to look to the next branch on the family tree. We have our very own Next Gen Associate, my daughter Tasha. Our Next Gen Associate concept has been designed to give our clients insight into their 'tomorrow customers'. Tasha carries out mystery shopping audits from a next gen perspective – giving feedback on customer service, the buying experience and noting areas that could be improved.
So, whether you are an estate agent, a dental practice, a hair & beauty salon, hotel, bank, building society or car dealership, the next time an older teen pops in, treat them as equally as you would any other potential customer, Why? Because they are your 'next gen' customer!
Until next time…