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Why companies need to stop selling to customers

PA’s head of business design, Conrad Thompson speaks to Forbes about the need for companies to put customers first in everything they do.

The article examines the changing nature of customer relationships with businesses, with exceptional customer engagement crucial to twenty-first century business success. 

It notes that PA is paying real attention to the end customer, saying that “there is a widespread failure for organizations to live up to customers’ expectations”. It states that despite there being many resources devoted to customer service, many of these are not well utilised, with customers not getting the experience they expect. 

Customer 4.0

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Conrad is quoted as saying that it will be important for companies to not only offer much more technology, but also a different perspective. This is what PA calls “Customer 4.0”. Conrad goes on to say: “businesses need to stop thinking about offering service to customers and instead put the customer at the centre of everything. They need to understand how they’ll deliver what the customer needs and become relevant to the world in which the customer lives.”

Conrad goes on to offer an example of this in practice – using the travel company Kuoni, who has set up stores in the UK department store group, John Lewis Partnership. He says that many couples use the stores for their wedding lists and therefore might use Kuoni to plan their honeymoon, so it makes sense for them to be under one roof – putting customer experience first. He says that: “it is an approach that can be applied to just about any sector.” 

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