New customer touch points are appearing the world over at breakneck speed and against a backdrop of rising expectations. Lockdown measures resulted in people’s only opportunity to connect with those outside of their household was through digital channels.
As a result, a customer service reformation is evolving as they are driving the buying process using websites, blogs, vlogs and social platforms. By the time they enter a store or become visible in the sales funnel, they know what they want to buy and how much they want to pay.
Consumers are inundated with emails and texts from service providers hailing the next “opportunity.” They are bombarded with incomprehensible privacy notices and endless survey requests. The battleground has never been so complex and competitive.
As a result consumers are changing how and when they shop, with many using multiple, digital channels on a greater scale for the first time. Many of these behaviors will stick. When the world reboots, we’ll have a new operating system.
How companies respond to the recent changes in customers’ values and behaviours and their expectations of brands will determine their success in the pandemic recovery.
The real promise of consumer data is to deepen customer relations
According to Deloittes’, new channels and technologies open up fresh opportunities enabling a company stand out from the rest of the crowd. Opportunities to build an ongoing dialogue with customer, to learn from customers and to increase the relevance of your products and services. It’s time for every business to start seeking and fostering enduring relationships with their customers – a relationship that goes far beyond the initial sale.
Businesses will need to adopt these changes by focusing on new priorities, using multiple channels and creating more authentic, human-centered customer engagement strategies to build integrity and trust.
How do business owners align with these new requirements and consumer expectations?
The mainstream adoption of social platforms and the use of online forums is making business practices increasingly transparent. In the past, poor service may have led to a customer complaining to a small number of family or friends. Today, however, a post or a tweet can share bad experiences with hundreds of potential customers instantly and its impact can be amplified to millions more at the click of a button.
This digital amplification effect does not only punish a company for poor service. It works the other way around too. Positive messages from delighted customers boost a company’s reputation for good service or excellent products. This kind of ‘word of mouth’ marketing delivers a much more powerful message than any company can send. It’s no wonder that marketing teams are actively investing time and money into engaging wider audiences in order to seek out these positive stories.
According to EY’s Future Consumer Index highlighting current changes to consumer behaviours are illustrated as follows, reflecting a “back to basics” approach:
The key objective is to drive consumer acquisition, retention and loyalty through service. In other words, service teams should be generating repeat business and drive word of mouth marketing that contribute additional revenue to businesses. Teams should shift their focus towards performance metrics, such as customer profitability.
The real importance of digital to business is not in the emergence of new technology – the importance is in the shift in customer behaviour!
In today’s, digital world, organisations must understand the entire customer journey and creatively apply the right technology at the right time to build greater customer engagement.
To do that, it is about knowing the why, as well as the what and where of the customer journey. Once a holistic approach is implemented, new channels should be introduced at the right level of maturity while early enough to differentiate and deliver the edge over the competition.
And the competition to acquire new customers is intense! Customers have more choice and greater access to information than ever before. They are using social media, forums and blogs to connect and share their experiences of good and business to aid one another in purchasing decisions. Considering the cost of winning new customers, developing long-term loyalty with customers once you have them is more critical than ever.
If we expect customer services to drive loyalty and manage end-to-end customer experiences, then the way we measure and reward their activities must change. This must be backed up with the right capability in people and culture, and the right metrics to drive relationship-building behaviour.
Leaders must embrace continuous development and actively seek new opportunities.
Whether for transactional, educational, or personal purposes, it is clear that people have turned to digital channels for many aspects of their lives.
To meet future challenges in a sustainable way, business leaders must develop the capability to quickly identify, evaluate and invest in the right trends at the right time. For many companies, this may mean acquiring or developing new talent that better understands digital technologies and how they best be applied.
Forward-thinking companies are already redesigning their business and revenue models to meet or exceed these new escalating customer expectations.
Imagine if you gained the peace of mind to seamlessly access these answers and navigate other business challenges as they arise, simply by connecting with industry peer leaders and entrepreneurs?
This is the strength of peer to peer and leadership mentoring.
We encourage you to leverage Coraggio’s support system and capitalise on our give-and-take dynamic amongst people who have walked the path before. They will guide you with permission, to enter into a mutual exchange of expertise.
Afterall, in the words of Henry Ford “If everyone is moving forward together, then success takes care of itself”.
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