Customer Experience News & Trends

5 customer types come out of isolation: How to serve them

Pandemic-induced isolation forced new buying habits. Here are the five new customer types that emerged – and how you want to serve them now.

Researchers at HUGE uncovered how the buying landscape changed through the last year. They looked into what customers experienced, felt and wanted.

That helped researchers come up with five new customer types – aka buyer personas or customer profiles.

Bottom line: Customers are slightly different emerging from lockdowns, limitations, stress and isolation. And you’ll likely want to serve them slightly differently.

3 things impacted changes

Three things impacted the changes in customers: media consumption, financial insecurity and trust, explained Emily Wengert, HUGE’s Group VP of User Experience, when she spoke at the Broadridge Webinar “Merging Smart & Human: What to Expect from Customer Experiences in 2021.”

  • Media: Customers’ attitudes about the effects of the coronavirus were swayed by the how much and which kind of media they consumed.
  • Finances: Customers’ level of financial security has affected their ability and desire to buy.
  • Trust: Customers’ level of trust has swayed in how the businesses they interact with will continue to keep employees and customers safe.

With that in mind, here are five new common customer types.

Fulfilled Homebodies

COVID-19 helped these customers find a new comfort zone. They aren’t necessarily introverts, but they’re happy to stay home, focus on their families and themselves, everyone’s needs and solitary hobbies.

In fact, nearly two-thirds of the Fulfilled Homebodies say they won’t go to large indoor or outdoor venues.

What they need:

  • High quality digital experiences
  • In-home ways to experience your products and services, and
  • Easy access to online help.

Eggshell Walkers

They’re anxious. They aren’t eager to get back into the workplace but will do it when necessary. However, they aren’t likely to get back to the public life any time soon.

They’ll likely emerge, buy and experience more when science, data and vaccines make them feel safe.

What they need:

  • Reassurance that the companies they do business with are keeping their employees and customers safe.
  • A bridge of sorts – ways they can get your products and/or services without having to walk on-site or interact with others.

Polite Optimists

They’re hanging back a little, thinking, “Go ahead. I’ll let everyone else test the waters first.” They’ll consider what they do and how they spend on a case-by-case basis, trying things as they reopen and holding on to digital habits if they don’t feel safe.

In fact, about 40% intend to maintain memberships to local organizations, eat out at restaurants, visit bars and go to movies when the outbreak settles.

What they need:

  • Options. They want to be able to buy and experience in person, but if they don’t feel safe yet, they want to still be able to do everything online, and
  • Baby steps. They’ll be willing to do more and more outside their home, but they won’t jump all in. Being able to pick up products or experience services in safe environments will win back their business.

Trapped Butterflies

These customers were used to – and thoroughly enjoyed – participating in activities, in society and with family. They miss it and want to return to normal buying and socializing quickly.

They’ll abide by restrictions and take all necessary precautions if it means being able to do what they like to do sooner.

What they need:

  • Reassurance that your products and services are the normal they remember
  • Information about what you’re doing to keep everyone safe and how you’re conducting business so they can pass it along to their family and friends who don’t go out, and
  • Engagement to talk to and interact with businesses again.

Band-Aid Rippers

They’re a vocal minority, and they want everything to be as it was before the pandemic now.

Yes, they’re concerned about the health dangers of COVID-19. But they’re equally, or more, concerned about the economic fallout from the response to it.

What they need:

  • Your promise to return to business as usual when it’s safe.
  • Options. Invite them to interact, troubleshoot and buy in a variety of ways that keeps your employees safe – and them satisfied.

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