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Your Customers are Changing. Are You? by David Avrin

by The Middle East Council of Shopping Centres & Retailers
November 26th 2020

David is the author of the book ‘Why Customers Leave (and How to Win Them Back)’ In his session, he will talk about your changing customers with the recent shift in mindset and expectation, how it ... More

I have a question for you. Most of your customers are changing. But what are you doing to meet with your customers? Demands? Do you really know what they want? Okay, welcome to the M E CSR retail podcast, and I'm your host. Angela Dominic, membership executive at the Middle East Council of Shopping Centers and Retailers. In today's episode from the Retail Congressman 2020 Virtual Event David Average talks about your changing customers with a recent shift in mindset and expectation how it has affected the shopping center and retail industry and provide solutions and strategies to drive, retain and attract customers. David is one of the most in demand customer experience at marketing speakers in the world Today. He is the author of three books, including That claimed It's Not Who You Know, It's Who Knows you. Visibility, Marketing and

Hiss Latest book Why Customers Leave and How to Win Them Back, Get insights and how to navigate through this continuously changing retail environment. Now is your time to think through what you do next. Hi, My name is David Davran. I'm coming to you from Denver, Colorado in the United States. I'm the author of the book. Why Customers Leave and How Toe Win Them Back. And I'm excited to be joining you today because I want to talk to you about your changing customers, not just what's happened during Cove in 19, but what's been happening for the last 10 years and how it has profoundly affected the industry. But it's going affect it even more moving forward. So listen, we understand what this has meant for the industry. I think there's reason to be optimistic because we've been through a very, very difficult time as an

industry were very clear of what this has meant for retailers, for shopping center operators and owners, those who fund the operations and others as well. And so while we have spent the last several months working on on social distancing and compliance and sanitization and shifting that language from cleaning to sanitizing, it's time to open up again. It's time to change our language to not just what we're doing to be safe, but what we're doing to be great and what we do and what we can provide that it's superior toe what others have learned they could do in an online environment. I want to talk about creating a hybrid model about how do we bring back our customers and those who miss what we do. But they've also dirt learned during this time that they can do business differently. B to B B to C. We have profound learning that's come out of Cove in 19. The first thing we've learned is that we have choices. We have a multitude of choices. We've known for some time the shift to virtual to shift

online, and it's Amazon and Alibaba and others as well and what that has meant to the retail industry. And much of our conversation has been about how do we reuse and re utilize vacant space and others I want to talk about? How do we bring people back? How do we recognize the best of what they've learned during this time? Because we've learned a lot as consumers. We've learned that it's difficulty that we miss connecting with others, but we've also learned that we can do some pretty phenomenal things. First and foremost, we've learned that we can work at home. It works how many organizations air reconfiguring their staffing levels and who's in the office and who can stay at home. In many cases, we had to do it. But if necessity is the mother of invention than what we've learned is that we can, I'm telling you, history will record this time as a time of remarkable, um, innovation, because we've had to be creative and innovative in terms of how we work, right and and our kids, you

know, learning at home. It works. It's not always preferable. Sometimes it's a is a short term accommodation. But another case, it is preferable. Before this pandemic, I probably did one out of every five calls virtually Zoom or Skype brothers. Today it's 19 out of 20 because this works being able to make this connection. Even when I was speaking on very big stages in 24 countries around the world, most people are watching me on the screen anyway. Look at the opportunities for making this connection. What we've learned is that we can, and in some cases it's preferable. And of course what we've also learned that we have been shifting for some time. Is that that that buying virtually and it has been a real challenge for those in brick and mortar retail, but we can, right? There's there's things that we could get it. We could get it delivered overnight in many cases, and there's no shortage is there's a a plethora of choices for retailers and sizes and everything else. But we do know

we're missing something. We're missing that touch and the smell and the taste of the food and being able to try things on. So how do we bring them back when when? In many cases, this has accelerated what has long been predicted about how we're gonna going to do business in the future? It's happening. It's not happening in years from now. It's happening now. And so as we begin to reopen, as we as we communicate our our compliance in terms of social distancing and sanitization, everything else is we begin to shift that language to what makes us great and preferable. It's important that we highlight because here's what we've learned. We've learned that we can have what we want delivered not just from the major retailers in multiple days, but from local retailers and restaurants and others as well. So as we find ourselves in shopping center in a brick and mortar, a traditional destination location. We're going to have to look at how do we incorporate and adopt

many of those policies and procedures that others have during the pandemic, that we become multimodal in terms of our operations? So the innovation just isn't on the part of the shopping mall and the shopping center operators, but innovation in terms of the retailer's themselves? How do we think differently about how our customers want to engage with us and buy from us? We have to become extraordinarily accommodating because here's the challenge. We've created this customer path right. There's so many things that are unpredictable in the marketplace. So we try to control what we can if we can create a customer path. Here is where they learn about us and research, and they come on site. And here's how we lay out our store or operation or restaurant. Here's where they queue. Here's where they buy or customize or get their drink and sit down. It all works, and when we can have a greater level of predictability of their behavior, weaken budget For that, we can plan for that. Here's the problem. My friends, your customers

have never read your employee manual. They just know how they want to buy. They just know how they want to shop. So we have to become extraordinarily accommodating and flexible. There is a traditional model that we've had with in a retail environment that has to change. It has to be that and mawr. We have to look at adopting everything or most things that the virtual environment has and can provide. We have to do everything that they can do. But we can do so many things that they cannot, and they never will be able to. They can't create connection and community. If you're wondering whether or not this is short term, whether you're biting your time waiting for things to get back to normal, all you have to do is look at major corporations and the investment they're making in infrastructure and the the prediction and a commitment. They're making 2030 year commitments. Two new physical footprints, New Kentucky Fried Chicken

, new KFC half the size of the traditional restaurant but three times as many bays to accommodate app ordering on your mobile phone toe. Accommodate curbside pickup delivery online ordering and otherwise as well. They're making a long term bet that this is the way things are going to be. This is the new normal. This is the new next or the next normal or the touchless tomorrow and so many different terminology to say. We've learned that this some of these things really work, and we've gotten used to convenience and delivery and that level of accommodation as well. So within the shopping center environment, we have to have those conversations with our team about how do we do things differently? That's that's the essence of disruption. Disruption is a different way of thinking. That says, If we were going to start over, how would we do it differently? There are people who are looking at every industry and asking some very profound

questions. Is that the way it should be done? It's the way we do it. It's the way we've always done. It may be the way our industry works, but is it the way that things were gonna be done a year from now or two years from now, not 10 years from now, but but next year, because we're learning things from a lot of other industries about how to do things better and faster and smarter and more engaging. How many of your business models are optimized for speed of delivery? Disruption says Sit down and put a put pen to paper and ask the question If we were going to start over. Today, we aren't bound by any legacy thought processes or physical structures or debt or even people or technology. How would we do it differently today? We were going to create a shopping environment that would incorporate all the best of what people want and become to expect and what even is coming tomorrow. What would that look like? Because there are others who are having those conversations right now. But I think as an industry, we need to have that hard conversation that says, How would

we redefine it so that it's not happening to us? Because when it happens to us were disrupted and we're scrambling to catch up and not every industry survives. But when we have those conversations ourselves, we just call that innovation. It's the same thing. Disruption happens to you. Innovation is driven by us, and that's why I've never been more optimistic because this is a phenomenal opportunity to do some very creative things to expand our service off offerings as retailers. Now, of course, there's a lot of these conversations have been happening for years. We understand that trend towards online, And how do we bring people on site and a lot of conversations about how do we reuse and reconfigure vacant space? But I think we need more conversation on the part of how are we engaging with our customers? What have they come to expect during this pandemic? And what is it gonna take for us to incorporate those and adopt some of those things? Because, of course, how we physically connect is going to change. But as I said

, there's things that we can do that online cannot. We can do all the things they do. We can ship and we can deliver. We could do curbside pickup, but we can also create engagement and connection and collaboration and community that others cannot. And I think the thing that we've realized that we're missing during this pandemic is the chance to connect with others. What a wonderful environment to do that and, of course, socially distant. And of course, with a night towards sanitization that won't always be a new issue, but it will be for the short term. But I think people are are eager to get out and connect and collaborate. We have to look at the world through their eyes, what has changed in their world, not just understanding them from the perspective of their demographics and their psychographic. They're buying behaviors. But what's truly changed in terms of their pressures and their priorities and the challenges with their families and others as well. And how do we communicate to them

our expanded offerings? We have to understand the day in the life of our customers. What are the pressures, what are the challenges that they have? And when we do so, we get a better sense is we step back and look at all the choices that they have. They've become much more cognizant, much more more clear in terms of the online on what they can do. But as I said before, even the local retailers that they can have them delivering this whole new generation of service providers from uber Eats and Doordash and others as well that we can take advantage. Those things that might have been difficult for us to deliver in the past. We can use those third parties to be able to do that as well. So I think once again it's an exciting time. We grew up in life understanding the golden rule. We heard it from our mothers and fathers. We heard it at work. It's very simple. Just do unto others as they would have done unto you. In other words, treat people like you want to be treated. Here's the problem. In most cases, your customers are not you. They are themselves were on a

different side of the equation. If you're B two B or B two C, even if you're you're shopping center operators or funders or others, your constituents, your customers, your clients have a different life than you do. It's not simple, it's complicated, and that's why we have to put thought behind. It's not. The Golden rule is the platinum rule. The platinum rule says do unto others as they would have done unto themselves. In other words, don't treat him like you wanna be treated. Treat them like they want to be treated. And to do that, we have to understand them on a much deeper level and the deeper level is understanding what's different in their life. What have they come to appreciate? What have they come toe love? And of course it's things like curbside pickup we could do that is shopping centers and even what does the future look like? The future looks like drone delivery or others, and that doesn't have to just be theon online retailers. We could do those things as well. I think we need to redefine the industry, and I think that's exciting as there has been this this level of discomfort

and concern and worry as we've seen this shift towards online, which we all do as well. But there are things that shopping centers can provide that no one else can't. And so I think some of those things we look at adopting some of those are the things that we've become accustomed to and grown to really appreciate and redefine that destination. Shopping experience is much more of a hybrid than it was before, even for those traditional retailers, because here's the point the future is calling and the future is now. If you wake up one year from now the same company that you are today, you will have squandered an opportunity to get better, to become more aligned with how your customers want to buy, not just how we want to deliver our goods and services. It's much more of a connection. We know that power has shifted to our customers. I think the shopping center of the future is exciting. I think it's exciting when we look at all of the things that we offer not just in terms of a tenant mix, but in terms of a service mix from the tenants

that we already have. Hey, listen, I would love if you check out my new book called Why Customers Leave and How to Win Them Back. It's in five languages all around the world. Connect with me on social media. You see, I model the things that I talked about. I would love to begin a conversation with you connect with me, especially on LinkedIn, and I promise I respond to everybody who reaches out to me what a phenomenal opportunity is a great conference and I love the theme of this. It is about being resilient because not everybody is, and I think there's there's so many reasons to be optimistic about the future because it's time to open up. And I'm excited to be a part of all of it. Have a great conference. Thanks for including me is part of it. My name is David Davran looked me up and I hope to talk to you again soon. Thanks for listening. And that was David. Average recorded live at the retail Congressman. A virtual event. 2020. Don't forget to hit, Subscribe and share and see you on the next episode.

Your Customers are Changing. Are You? by David Avrin
Your Customers are Changing. Are You? by David Avrin
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