Today’s consumers are both more informed and less loyal than their predecessors. Businesses need to accept that simple fact and understand that their customers—whether consumers or business buyers—have certain expectations of the companies they purchase from. They also place a high value on trust and good experiences, according to a second edition “State of the Connected Customer” report from Salesforce Research.
Unlike previous generations that shopped local stores and mail order catalogs, today’s customers are in constant contact with the Internet through multiple personal devices and are accustomed to continuous innovation. They tend to know more about product features and pricing and are less brand loyal than their parents. This era of innovation and exponentially disruptive technology change – often referred to as the Fourth Industrial Revolution – means products considered cutting edge one day are passé the next, which places a higher premium on the experiences a company can offer.
According to the report, which surveyed over 6,700 consumers and business buyers worldwide, to keep a customer coming back time and time again, a company needs to deliver consistently great marketing, sales, e-commerce, and customer service, while proving they have the customers’ best interests in mind. However, most companies are falling short of this standard, with nearly 60% of consumers doubting companies care about them as individuals. And it’s not just about one lost sale: 57% of customers have stopped buying from a company because they’ve found a better experience elsewhere – with 62% saying they share bad experiences with others through peer review sites and social media.
On a more positive note, 72% of customers said they share good experiences with others, with two thirds saying they are willing to pay a premium to companies that offer superior experiences. And perhaps most telling of all, eight in 10 customers say the experiences a company provides is as important as its products and services.
The question becomes: What steps can a company take to ensure they are building loyalty and trust by delivering a positive experience? Here are three recommendations:
1) Invest in automation to improve the speed of your delivery and free up human resources for more creative tasks. A significant part of a customer’s experience is the rate at which a company operates from sales to customer service; leveraging automation from customer portals to chatbots can greatly improve your agility and accelerate your performance.
2) Leverage data about your customers to personalize key aspects of your experience. Nothing tells a customer that you care about your relationship with them than fully understanding their history and needs; modern CRMs like Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamics can centralize all this data across sales, marketing, and customer service. The data can then be used for both human-to-human interactions like calls to customer service or automated interactions like accessing a customer portal.
3) Build an integrated enterprise. According to BlueWolf’s State of Salesforce Report organizations that leverage tools like Salesforce for both front- and back-office staff and who use cross functional governance and planning teams are 2X more likely to achieve breakthrough innovations.
At Korcomptenz, we can help you deliver the kind of amazing experiences that will not only keep customers coming back, but will inspire them to share the good word with others. We know how important it is for your company to show your concern for individual customers, earning their trust and, in turn, their loyalty. After all, we’re living in a world where three of four customers expect companies to understand their needs and expectations, and we can help you go a long way toward proving you are a company that cares.