Every choice that a business or consumer makes come with some degree of risk. Business ideas can fail or be a huge success, and a consumer can make a poor purchase decision or a great one. Risk is inevitable, but customer experience should work to highlight the great outcomes and overcome the bad decisions. This week brought three stories about the risks that brands and customers face every day.
More Americans Hiding Money At Home Amid Recession Fears
With increasing talks and fears that America is nearing a recession, a growing number of Americans are taking matters into their own hands and keeping cash at home. A recent survey found that 17% of Americans have started hiding cash at home, and 21% of people say they are being more conservative with money. Aside from slowing spending and the economy, taking money out of banks and investment accounts means consumers miss out on compounding interest and growing their money.
The startling survey results show Americans’ real fears about a recession. Even with warnings from investment professionals about the danger of keeping large amounts of money outside of banks, lots of Americans are still stashing cash at home. Companies need to be aware of consumers’ feelings and their conservative approach to finances and spending, which could greatly impact the customer experience.
Toys R Us Stages Comeback With Help From Target
Toys R Us, which famously went out of business last year, is starting its comeback by relaunching its website with help from Target. ToysRUs.com is the first step to re-launching the brand. Toys R Us doesn’t have the power to actually sell toys yet, but its website features product reviews and articles. If customers want to purchase an item, a link takes them to the product page on Target.com. The goal of the collaboration is to help Toys R Us gain momentum while also boosting Target’s sales. Toys R Us has plans to open two experimental stores later this year in time for holiday shopping.
The loss of Toys R Us was a major blow to brick-and-mortar retailers, but there is hope that the brand can re-build online. Partnering with Target is beneficial for both brands and help re-establish the Toys R Us brand as a leading destination for toys. However, with more than a year since Toys R Us was open, many parents have already found other places to purchase toys. The e-commerce partnership and experimental stores could either be a smashing success or further sink the brand. It’s all up to customers.
NBA Team Faces Backlash After Political Tweet
A tweet this week by the general manager of the Houston Rockets supporting protests in Hong Kong led to severe backlash, with businesses in Beijing and mainland China cutting ties with the team. The tweet was quickly deleted, and the GM apologized stating it was his personal opinion and not the official stance of the NBA or the team, but the damage had been done. The Chinese Basketball Association ended a deal to stream Rockets games to 500 million people in China, and many other companies followed suit. Following the backlash, the NBA commissioner announced he won’t censor employees or teams.
The majority of Americans support businesses taking a stance on current issues, but this example shows the potential backlash that can happen by voicing an opinion. Taking a stance should be done carefully and in a way that boosts the brand instead of potentially destroying partnerships. Although the tweet may have been costly on the business side, it also likely strengthened how some fans view the Rockets.
Every business decision comes with risk. Choosing the best risky decisions and building a strong brand and customer experience can help companies succeed.
Blake Morgan is a customer experience futurist, keynote speaker and the author of two books including The Customer Of The Future: 10 Guiding Principles For Winning Tomorrow’s Business. Sign up for her weekly customer experience newsletter here.