Posted by Simon Taylor - 24 April, 2020
Customers are desperate to do business, but Business has its hands tied!
That's just some of the reaction we've had this week to our Property Sentiment Tracker update published on Tuesday.
In our updated tracker report this week, we evidenced an apparent customer rebound from the depth of the initial Coronavirus shock, with a resurgence in consumer engagement via Live Chat. But from some of the reaction there's little doubt that many businesses are not seeing that. Why is that the case?
Here's a quick reminder of the analysis. Yomdel Founder & CEO, Andy Soloman chatted with Iain McKenzie on 'The Guild - Live at One' this week, so we grabbed a video excerpt here to summarise what the numbers show:
Every business finds themselves in personally unique and often difficult positions, based upon their financial circumstances, staff situation, sector based COVID-19 restrictions, ongoing sales pipeline (or lack of) and customer communications capability. These are of course all inextricably linked, so a compound effect will materialise.
So when we see a rise in consumer engagement taken from 150,000 active business lead enquiries, over the last 15 months prior to 'Lockdown', we have to take that very seriously. Live Chat engagement patterns are remarkably consistent and predictable, and they unquestionably represent consumer intent, and overall are a good barometer for market activity.
However, they do not of course translate directly into business revenue. That requires previously 'normal' conditions against many variables, such as those aforementioned. And here is the point of course: many of those 'normals' have gone right now, and we are beginning to see that some will never return.
This is where some businesses undoubtedly find their hands tied.
- Customers cannot visit offices or branches
- Staff cannot visit customers or physically showcase products face to face
- Staff are furloughed, and unavailable to provide services even when demand is high
- Cash is precious, often conserved at all cost, so not spent on adapting business
- Adaptation or Business Process Re-engineering invariably requires staff, cash and time
- Website and customer comms capabilities cannot adapt quickly enough to new customer demands
So many businesses will simply not see the customer demand out there, for all these reasons. And let's not get ahead of ourselves. Demand is NOT at levels which many businesses require, but it IS steadily climbing back. And at this point a huge risk emerges.
A business that cannot see the demand, and/or cannot respond to that demand, will quickly find that it dries up in absolute terms. Customers who cannot get what they want, will go elsewhere.
We're going to try and cover the NEW 'normals' in the coming weeks, and see how businesses can potentially adapt even in compromised situations. In the meantime, make sure you do whatever you can to ensure that your online presence is optimised.
- Update your COVID-19 statements regularly
- Tell visitors what services are available, and how best to communicate with you
- Offer as many communication opportunities for your visitors as you can, to give them instant service, and provide a filter for your response management
One final word on the tracking analysis. I was interested to see a similar tracker from Lettings market experts, Goodlord, who mapped lettings applications and completions from the start of 2020. You can see their snapshot here, and just below the Yomdel Sentiment Tracker for the same period. The trend is remarkably similar, so please let's not ignore what consumers are trying to tell us. Let's work together to try and adapt to a new market.
If we can help at all, in any way, please do let us know.
I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and I'm always happy to chat.
You can see what Yomdel is doing to help here.