Change is an important factor in marketing. After all, businesses usually need people to change from their current provider, to them, in order to grow. However, change is also a tricky subject.
Why? Because although most people are resistant to change, when you ask people how they feel about change, they almost always say they enjoy it. It’s one of those stock answers that people give, because it sounds like the correct answer. However, in reality, we know it’s very different. For example, people will often receive an awful service from a bank or phone company; yet stay with them, rather than change to a better provider.
Marketing and change
Professional marketers have known for years that it’s harder to get someone to change from one provider to another, than it is to win their business the first time. This is why companies typically offer their most attractive deals to new customers. They know that people’s reluctance to change or fear of newness (something called cainophobia) means that they can invest heavily in incentives for new customers, because they will typically retain their business for years.
So, if you are planning to make a noticeable change to your business, you need to take a few things into consideration.
- There will almost always be negative feedback, no matter how big an improvement your change has created. Do your research in advance and if the change is needed, do it!
- It’s best to plan ahead and ensure that you effectively communicate the benefits of the change you are about to make. This may involve pre-announcements or consultations.
- You need to introduce change at a pace that works best for your customers. This will vary a lot, depending on factors like their age etc.
Change is an essential requirement for business success. In fact, the pace of change has probably never been greater than it is right now and we need to change or adapt to benefit from the amazing new opportunities all around us. However, I’ve found that the right time to change is when change is required, and not just for the sake of making things different.
What are the best and worst experiences you have had, with the way a provider has implemented changes? Let us know.
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