This week on our Friends on Friday guest blog post my colleague, Erich Lawson, writes about the importance of being an eco-friendly business and how it can encourage loyalty among consumers. This is a great example of finding out what is important to your customer and making it a priority. – Shep Hyken
Studies have found that businesses are bound to reap numerous benefits from the implementation of social and environmental initiatives most of which require minimal capital. For instance, a study conducted by Nielsen in 2014 indicated that 55 percent of customers are more likely to pay more for services and goods from companies that have a positive environmental and social impact. This was 10 percentage points higher as compared to a similar survey conducted in 2011.
Although most entrepreneurs mainly consider benefits that are associated with cost, there is so much more. If you are seeking to gain more customers who are loyal, then you will do well to place more emphasis on the impact your business leaves on the surrounding environment.
Notably, there is increased awareness on the implementation of environmentally friendly policies from more people across the world that are seen as detrimental by consumers before making purchases from not only eco-friendly but also ethical minded businesses.
Customers Consider Eco-Friendly Minded Businesses before Purchasing
The 2013 findings of a Green Gap Trend Tracker research conducted by Cone Communications found that at least 71 percent of shoppers in America think about the environment when shopping. Another 7 percent have the environment in mind when they shop even as 20 percent are constantly thinking about the environment.
What this means is that consumers have prioritized thinking green with most of them holding the belief that it is their responsibility to not only use but also dispose of products properly. Even then, only a paltry 30 percent that uses products in a manner that benefits the environment as is intended. On the other hand, another 42 percent dispose products in a manner that fulfills the desired environmental benefits.
Although there is no consistency in following the policies, consumers have demonstrated the desire to gain more knowledge on environmentally friendly practices. Consequently, the number of consumers that take into account eco-friendly minded businesses when shopping has significantly gone up. In fact, another survey found that consumers are increasing their spending based on organic foods as opposed to merely looking at the ingredients. Consumers are bound to punish those companies that mislead them. Thus, the degree to which a company is honest on the green philosophy matters is important.
What Message Are You Conveying?
It is critical to emphasize on the message you want to convey about your business before setting out. That is, what would you like besides attaining the freedom of being self-employed and making money? Is your business’ philanthropy as much as you are making from the business? Is your business making positive contributions to the environment or society?
It is important to bear in mind that your business is not only interacting with but also representing the community. That is, as an individual your visibility is greatly increased. Consequently, what you say and do is significant albeit on different scales. Thus, when you convey messages that show your business promotes eco-friendly policies then you are more likely to attract a wider clientele. Besides, there are people that need to be enlightened on sustainability processes thus the messages you convey could be the only thing that changes the perspective of customers to switch to eco-friendly products.
Today, getting consumers to exercise their good intentions is a major challenge hence the need to communicate about your sustainable brand more effectively in order to resonate with the customers. Consequently, customers who are of the degree of a company’s social and environmental consciousness will more likely want to try your company’s services and products with an even higher percentage becoming repeat customers. Always remember that a majority of customers are more concerned about the impact of a product on the environment than the price.
Examples of Green Businesses that are Successful
More and more businesses have gone green by embracing eco-friendly policies. Some of the green businesses that have been successful in their quest to be green include the following:
- Businesses that use recycled materials
- Recycled packaging
- Businesses that use ethically and locally sourced materials
- Business that use natural materials
- Businesses that operate on a zero waste policy
- Businesses that are keen on reducing carbon footprint
- Businesses that work for a cause/charity
- Businesses that promote transparency by making their eco-friendly efforts and mission known.
Green Practices to Follow
Every business has the capability of saving energy costs and making a positive impact on natural resources through simple acts as using recyclable products or changing a light bulb. Here are some green practices that you can follow:
- Embrace energy efficiency through saving tips on energy costs
- Adopt business practices that are environmentally sound
- Enhance your systems of waste management
- Consider investing in renewable energy
Consumers are fast shifting their focus from the composition of products to the degree to which the company embraces eco-friendly policies. Therefore, entrepreneurs will do well to consider incorporating green policies in their businesses.
Erich Lawson is passionate about saving environment by effective recycling. He has written a wide array of articles on how modern recycling equipment can be used by industries to reduce monthly garbage bills and increase recycling revenue. You can learn more about environment savings techniques by visiting Northern California Compactors, Inc blog
For more articles from Shep Hyken and his guest contributors go to customerserviceblog.com.
Read Shep’s latest Forbes Article: Here Is The Key To Improving The Customer Service Experience