To keep up with – and benefit from – the digital revolution, organisations need to understand how customers behave today
Technological and societal trends have changed consumer behaviour and demands, and will continue to do so. These changes can be hard to understand, but companies that do so can outstrip both the existing competition and the new entrants who will disrupt the future landscape.
To help our clients transform their customer service in line with the new environment and the digital revolution, we have identified seven key ways in which customer behaviour is changing.
Customers no longer compare companies only with competitors
Your customers compare your performance with their insurance company, their supermarket, their holiday company. If one company exceeds the customer’s benchmark of ‘what good looks like’, they will expect the same from you.
Customers are less tolerant
They have become faster to complain and harder to satisfy, as evidenced by increasing complaint levels and customer satisfaction dropping across the board. Research shows the importance customers place on ease of service, in particular.
Customer-to-customer dialogue has grown
Social media and customer forums have huge potential both to build and to destroy brands. Customers are led by the opinions of their ‘friends’ or ‘followers’, corroborated by ‘likes’ and testimonials. The reputation of the company is shaken or strengthened accordingly.
Customers are less loyal
Customers will no longer accept perceived overpricing or poor standards of customer service, and are open to switching provider. They want value for money, not just cheap goods and services – they demand quality and are willing to pay for it.
Customers no longer accept branding and marketing from organisations
There’s widespread distrust of mainstream information channels, plus strong legislation against direct marketing and a growing technical ability to screen out advertising messages. Opinions and commercial relationships are formed elsewhere.
Customers are more informed
Digital technology has given consumers enhanced knowledge of products and services. The company does not have the monopoly on product knowledge: information and opinions on which to base decisions are a click away.
All customers are becoming multichannel users
Customers – not businesses – decide which communication methods will be most used. If the channel proposed by businesses is suitable for the type of interaction, then it will succeed; otherwise, it will fail.
Responding to these changes
A customer-centric approach to service delivery is vital if your company is to accommodate changing customer behaviour and meet new expectations and demands. Such an approach will provide the intelligence and insight necessary for continuous improvement of the commercial relationship.
While changing customer requirements present challenges, including complaints that threaten to ‘go viral’, there are also opportunities, for example to use information better and to work profitably with consumers who look beyond price.
To understand more about what changing customer behaviour means to your organisation, contact us now.