Knowing your customer and how to connect with them is more important for a business than ever before.
Technology has given consumers more platforms to communicate, and to do it quickly.
To succeed, businesses need to focus on where their consumers are and how to reach them.
One company built on this principle is Showpo.
Having leveraged Facebook and Instagram early on, the brand was able to establish a solid connection and rapport with its predominantly young female audience.
But recently, Lu found herself in a position dreaded by any founder: apologising for a company failure.
And in a time when corporate transparency and trust is being questioned by the public, Lu handled the situation like a pro.
She knew what was important to her customers and delivered the apology via the appropriate means: video.
“I didn’t want this to feel discreet, and hidden away over email,” Lu told Business Insider.
“Although our Customer Happiness team were owning this space, I wanted our audience to feel like they had been heard through the entire company.
“We’re so fortunate to have a platform to directly talk to our customers, I felt it was important that we use it in this way.”
She said it allowed her to create a transparency she feels doesn’t translate in an email.
“I honestly felt it was critical that we created a little more transparency in the industry for both our customers, and other businesses,” she said.
“I didn’t feel there was a way to reach them that showed the true sentiment of what I wanted to share, outside of video. An email or letter can only show so much, and I needed to reach our customers on a different level.
“In an email a misplaced full stop can have something reading entirely differently but here, it’s quite exposed, it feels more open.”
Lu said the response to the video also showed her that “our customers craved this transparency”.
“It has taught us so much about the community we have around us,” she said.
“We really were expecting the response to be overwhelmingly negative – because I would have been so frustrated if I had been on the receiving end as a customer – but from this point, we found the response so warm and understanding which really is a credit to our customers.
“Even when they were still waiting on a piece to be delivered or on correspondence from our Customer Happiness team, as soon as we addressed this with them the sentiment shifted.
“It really showed us that our customers craved this transparency. I also had loads of feedback from other business owners through the Like Minded Bitched Drinking Wine (another venture of Lu’s) community that thanked me for sharing our moments of struggle more publicly so they didn’t feel so isolated in theirs.”
Her advice for others?
“Be honest and open with your customers and break down the barriers of communication.”
NOW READ: Showpo’s Jane Lu has delivered a masterclass in apologising for failure — and all entrepreneurs can learn from it
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