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Our Unique Approach to Successful Businesses

Successful partnerships help companies innovate and grow. However, choosing a partner is often an overwhelming process because it’s difficult to differentiate among the options. Most agencies, consultancies, and vendors operate with a mindset of doing exactly what a client asks for, often leading to identical approaches, with little distinction other than price. If you’re evaluating primarily based on price, you may be fine with all your potential partners taking similar approaches, but in the end this strategy is short-sighted, narrow minded, and often backfires in the long run.

 

At Tallwave, we take a different approach. Whether you’re a current or future client, we apply a curious and empathetic mindset to all of our work. This often means we ask a lot of questions upfront, bring in diverse team members from multiple disciplines, and seek to put ourselves in our client’s shoes. At times, we even challenge client assumptions. While this process takes a bit more discovery, it allows us to focus our efforts on the right tactics from the very beginning, which yield better long-term results and help build stronger relationships between us and our clients.

 

Whether you’re a current or future client, we apply a curious and empathetic mindset to all of our work.

Here’s our approach to successful partnerships:

We Ask Plenty of Questions to Understand Our Client’s Needs

From the initial interaction with a potential new client, we seek to understand their unique challenges and needs. We may start with the client’s request, but we also take the time to dive deeper and understand how the request truly meets the needs of the business.

 

For example, one of our media clients, who relies on readers to become contributors, recently asked us to develop a custom application to help them recruit and onboard up to 1,000 new content writers per month. After a few collaborative sessions with their team, we realized their biggest challenge was making the self-serve application more user friendly and intuitive for on-boarding writers.

 

Given this knowledge, we decided to focus on redesigning the onboarding experience and leveraged Salesforce for the backend management instead of building a full custom application from scratch. Not only did this approach speed up their timeline, it also cut development costs in half, which could then be reapplied to other critical areas of the build.

 

Ensuring our client’s success is always our main priority at Tallwave. We achieve this by being mindful of the client’s goals and challenges in order to gain a deeper understanding of their business. In the end, the outcome may not be what the client originally had in mind, but this approach allows them to save time and money while still reaching their business objectives. 

 

Ensuring our client’s success is always our main priority at Tallwave. We achieve this by being mindful of the client’s goals and challenges in order to gain a deeper understanding of their business.

We Switch on a Dime When Circumstances Change

As a strategic partner, it’s our responsibility to adapt quickly as trends and shifts occur in the marketplace, whether it’s a new technology, regulation changes, or something much bigger like COVID-19. Not only do we have to understand the changes, we also have to be able to rethink priorities and help clients adapt so they can reach their bottom line.

 

While all of our clients were impacted by COVID-19, several were impacted more than others. A crisis like this could have been devastating for one of our food distribution clients, whose entire business revolves around providing food supplies, goods, and services to small restaurants. The pandemic forced all restaurants, regardless of size, to completely flip their business models – and when you’re in the business of servicing those restaurants, you really have to flip your business plan.

 

Our client had to quickly become a resource for their restaurants. Working with our client, we quickly created a multi-step action plan and resource center that detailed ways for restaurants to transition to a fully-digital presence. 

 

Our plan included instructions and guidelines for Google My Business (GMB) posts so restaurants could clearly advertise their availability for take-out or delivery, while also informing potential customers of their location and updated business hours. We provided recommendations to prepare restaurants for take-out only services, including prioritizing safety while working with third-party delivery apps, eliminating touch points between employees, remaining transparent with customers, and updating their online presence. We even provided a few strategic ways restaurants could get creative with their offerings. 

We Have a Continuous Focus on Outcomes

We’re always looking for new opportunities to drive growth for our clients.

 

As an example, we recently worked with a commercial printing client on a full-scale rebrand after they acquired several competitors. Through the process of diving into the business, we identified an opportunity to drive revenue by diversifying their customer base.

 

Even though it was not part of the original scope, we did an analysis into our client’s loyalty program and found that two-thirds of the company’s revenue came from only 10-percent of their customers. Going deeper, we found that their messaging, content, and marketing tactics were really only geared to one persona.

 

With this knowledge, we were able to recommend a strategy to build an experience and conversion path for other personas.

 

By helping every client we work with develop a better understanding of their business and the market landscape, we’re able to root out and address assumptions early to bring fresh perspectives and ideas that focus on the right challenges. It’s an approach that takes a partner who appreciates this type of pushback, but we’ve found that the clients who are open to alternative approaches and think outside the box can adapt their strategies to be more successful in their endeavors. Our relationships with clients are always more fruitful when we’re squarely focused on what matters most – making our clients wildly successful.

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Badass CX in the Time of COVID-19

To say that COVID-19 has changed the way we look at things would be a gross understatement. News cycles continue to churn out information, and we —as brands, consumers and humans in general— continue to respond.

 

We’re all human. We’re all being impacted by this. 

 

As marketers, we’re seeing the customer journey change quickly and often across industries and market segments alike – and many of these changes may well be permanent. 

 

The path forward isn’t clear by any means, but the brands that quickly and proactively adapt will survive and hopefully, come out of this stronger. Customers have begun demanding transparency, recognizing, and responding to authenticity and social responsibility now more than ever.

 

Last week, we polled our team to ask if they’ve had any personal experiences with a company navigating changes with them (as customers) really well in a COVID-19 world. Did any brand demonstrate an ability and  commitment to adapt their customer experience to meet the rapidly evolving moment? We wanted to know.

 

The answer was an overwhelming, “yes.”

 

In the responses, we saw four key themes emerge, illustrating just how companies are adapting their CX to meet the needs of their customers.

Theme 1: Adapt  with Empathy

This situation stinks for everyone. Now is NOT the time to nickel and dime. It may feel counterintuitive, but it’s not the time to make things difficult in order to protect your business.

 

Now is the time to break what are traditionally non-customer-friendly practices (ahem…airlines and travel).

 

By the way, this isn’t just a B2C issue. Business owners and business stakeholders are people too.

 

  • Shopify  has shown that it is dedicated to helping small businesses. Amongst other things, the brand made physical and digital gift cards available on all new and existing Shopify plans, and committed to making $200 million in small business funding available to lend some much needed support to the community.

  • OpenTable is recognizing the massive impact the restaurant industry is experiencing. They activated their customer base and sent an email to users encouraging support for the community with examples on how we can help restaurants during these times. It came across as altruistic while providing actionable information.

  • Chicago Cubs/MLB: When the remainder of Spring Training was cancelled, an email went out from the Cubs organization proactively detailing that refunds would be issued for all purchased tickets, exactly how they would be received, and the timeframe refunds could be expected in. There was no action needed from the customer. 

“It was nice to receive everything in one email and not have to worry about contacting anyone to get a refund.”

 

Westin helped tackle cancelling non-refundable reservations with no hassle, in a matter of minutes.

 

After the announcement was made that Broadway would be going dark, Telecharge proactively got cancellation emails out by the end of the day, making clear its plan to issue full refunds with no action needed from the customer.

 

American Airlines flights to New York (that were booked with points, no less) needed to be cancelled quickly, in the eleventh hour.

 

“I had a really long wait time, but once I was on they were nice, quick, and frictionless to get the points returned.”

Theme 2: Adapt Proactively 

Consumer behavior has been changed, for sure in the short-term. Better to be there first, anticipate the changes and make proactive adjustments if you can.
 

  • Blue Apron: With news of COVID-19 beginning to take off, Blue Apron’s business spiked and the brand was quick in communicating with its customers weeks in advance about the changes needed in order for everyone to be served within their dietary restrictions.
    [Blue Apron’s] customer service has also been helpful since I wanted to change the serving sizes on my orders.

  • Costco: “Staffed up for the rush and changed their business workflow to appease the customers and maintain sanity.”

Sanity may be a relative term, but we applaud the company for doing its best in these strange times.

  • Booty’s Burgers and Wings
    “It’s our favorite local wing place and we wanted to help them out. They have a system set up for pickup that limits any contact. Very fast, easy, and tasty!”

     

  • Texas Roadhouse quickly deployed a very efficient system for pickup where you didn’t even have to get out of your car – and had a good takeout deal too.

  • Pat Tillman Foundation: Instead of cancelling their charitable run in April, the nonprofit is transforming it to be a virtual run. 

“It's pretty cool. They're encouraging users to share as they run. Great way to keep the momentum virtually!”

Theme 3: Adapt Altruistically 

Quickly developing an altruistic model, or leveraging one that already exists. 

“Opportunistic” doesn’t have to have a negative connotation if it’s true to your brand, has an authentic voice, and strives to be helpful to the situation.

  • Allbirds quickly spun up a donation model in which they implemented a buy one, donate one model for getting shoes to frontline healthcare workers.

Their statement read: “Beginning March 24th and running while supplies last, you can bundle any shoe purchase with a donation to immediately supply a pair of Wool Runners to a healthcare professional who’s already reached out to us. Don’t need a new pair yourself, but still want to help? That’s an option, too.”

 

  • TOMS has a good campaign running right now centered around how “we can all use some extra comfort” and that we’re in this together. The shoe brand has a sale on sale for its slippers. 

“The messaging was tactful and helped with some normalizing, [giving] a break from seeing only COVID in my news feed.”

Theme 4: Adapt Radically 

The badassiest of all. There are many, many companies who are pitching in to help, but two specific ones came up in our office poll. One, in particular, is a local company that is no doubt further solidifying its already strong brand, but winning new customers and brand advocates.

 

The “doing good is good for business” mantra has never been more true than right now. 

 

O.H.S.O. and Fruit Brands, et al will reap the benefits of doing the right thing today.

 

No doubt, the impact of this virus will continue to grow. And the changes we’re all faced with making today will live on. Since we’re all in this together, let’s continue to make those changes for good.

How has your customer journey been impacted by COVID-19? 

What has your company been doing to adapt  during these times?