On the strength of this data, numerous companies are reconsidering the management of their customer relations in order to gain a better understanding of expectations and to offer customers a unique experience, by putting them at the center of their strategies. We are now at the epoch of the “Third Industrial Revolution,” described by Jeremy Rifkin as a time when companies will sell fewer products and will concentrate on services, which are the only place where brands can assert their singularity.
Independent, free and well-informed customers
Today, customers are defined as people who are influenced by their needs, wishes and values, and who are discouraged by disappointing or irritating factors encountered in their past purchasing experiences. To incite customers to consume, brands must, therefore, anticipate their needs, influence their wishes and match their values. The customer has become an individual to be seduced and made loyal. It is up to the company to make a move towards the customer to convince him to choose its offer from a growing selection, and to propose added value that is immediately perceptible.
The need for reassurance and trust
Trust in a brand and its authenticity have become key criteria for customers. If a customer trusts a brand, then he will return to it. This challenge has a financial dimension, too. Companies invest less when selling to a loyal customer than to a new one, which means that keeping customers is a source of significant profit for the company. In other words, a satisfied customer is a loyal customer who could bring additional revenue to the company. Customers expect the company to adapt to their own way of functioning – and not the reverse! – by providing the right information, in the right place and at the right time.
The demand to feel valued and “delighted”
Customers need to feel that they are unique. They expect to use unique products, and customized promotions and messages that are adapted to their needs. These phenomena require the company to understand the experience of every customer and to better appreciate the factors that influence their decisions.
As the well-known saying goes, it costs less to keep loyal customers than to win over new ones. A “delighted” customer is likely to become a loyal customer in the long term and to act as an ambassador for the brand that is more proactive and even capable of creating value and improving sales.
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