How do you think the relationship with customers will evolve in the following years?
The customer of the future looks for authenticity, transparency, and speed. It seeks more control, personalization and community-based services. These customers expect you to use artificial intelligence, learning machine, social media, analytics or any digital tool to predict what they want when, how, and even why. Let’s face it - the customer of the future is very demanding...
Here are 6 actions you should strengthen today to win the customer of the not-so-distant future and help you evaluate your current value proposition and business model to face the upcoming challenges and opportunities ahead.
1. Be smarter and faster.
Use agile marketing. Customers, especially millennials, have the expectation of immediacy. For them, ‘right now’ might be already too late. This principle applies to launching new products. Agile marketers focus their efforts on the speed in which new products/services/experiences can be developed or improved to capitalize on an opportunity and drive a business forward. Agile marketing is also about cultivating a user-brand relationship and running a real-time interesting conversation with customers and influencers.
A great marketing plan is strong but agile enough to improvise and take advantage of unexpected situations. For example, when the lights went out at the Superbowl a few brands took the opportunity to promote their products on Twitter in a refreshing way. An action like this is only possible for a brand that listens, observes, and reacts faster than its competitors.
2. Know the customer the best.
Enhance individual customer understanding. The customer of the future doesn’t think about buying products, instead it’s looking for solutions. To stay relevant, you will become an adviser more than a salesperson. To advise wisely, obtain credibility and trust, you must know as much as possible - and more than your competitors about the customer journey, trends, anticipate changes and evolution of the market. More importantly, you need to be able to instantly translate all this knowledge into solutions for your target.
3. Invest in technology to accurately target your audiences.
Win the customer’s attention by speaking the same language and delivering the right message at the right moment. Nowadays you have more data than you ever dreamed possible, this means you have power, but this is true only if you use the information to customize and personalize the customer’s experience. Clients know that you are collecting their data, consequently, they are becoming less tolerant of ads, brands, and product that don’t match their interests. Instead, they expect you to predict their needs. Investing in the right tools will save you time analyzing confusing individual reports, and you will gain in capacity to make faster and more informed decisions.
4. Use the customer channel.
Choose the right channel. Mono-channel, multichannel, omnichannel… This is not the question anymore. Even when the trend is to go for an omnichannel strategy to bring a fluent and consistent communication through the different points of contact, we live in a blended world where customers jump from real to virtual without even noticing it. Therefore, your strategy must tackle the very dynamic customer channel, be adaptable, responsive, and 100% connected to the customer’s needs.
5. Empower your customers.
Give your customers control. To apply this correctly, you must be transparent and see this transfer of power as an opportunity and not as a threat. Some customers don’t want to be told what to do. Instead, you should create very clear and intuitive tools and processes that make them feel in control. It’s also important to be there for them and use predictive support when needed. Some companies have excelled on this strategy, understanding where customers find more value. The sharing economy or the community-based services are great examples of empowering customers, but also sharing the risks and minimizing initial costs.
6. Invest in employees that really care about your cause.
Go for the candidate that is passionate about your mission. The customer is looking for authenticity. They want to feel the alignment between their own principles and how the company creates value for them. If your very capable employees truly believe in the brand, they will be ready to interact in a more genuine way, find real solutions, treat the customer’s problems as their own, and anticipate their demands. To summarize, with the right training, your motivated employees will make sure the company is following the 5 strategies mentioned above.
If you want to know how StratX is developing commercial teams and leaders to win the customer of the future, please feel free to reach out, we’ll be happy to talk and share ideas.