Today’s customers are like a King. They are in the driver’s seat, with the power of the internet and social media tools creating tons of information. With the strong influence of smartphones, all the information is at their fingertips.
We are living in interesting times of Industry 4.0. Consumers are now on the cusp of a hyper-personalized era with fundamental changes in terms of choice, consumption, ownership and overall experience of products and services.
This is called “Age of the Customer”.
Digital technologies and customer focus are going hand-in-hand. New channels, new devices, new service providers have changed our lives.
Look around and you’ll see that digital transformation is so omnipresent that it has touched nearly every industry.
Gone are the days of the 90s, when we used to rewind tapes before returning them to Blockbuster, as they have been replaced by Netflix, iPod, Spotify and their online streaming platform.
As Steve Jobs once said – You have got to start with Customer experience and work backward to the technology. He created a product like iPhone that evoked the needs & wants of the target market. Blackberry was the leader then with QWERTY keyboard. Nobody knew we will need a touchscreen phone until he made us realize what we are deprived of.
Every business began before the Internet, now faces the same challenge, how to transform to compete in a digital economy?
Creating customer value and building long-term relationships are even more challenging in a digital world as customers are well-informed, expect more, trust their friends, have millions of choices and more important have a voice which can be heard by mass.
Your understanding of your customers' context will make, or break, your ability to succeed at a customer's moment of need. Thankfully, your customers now create and leave behind digital footprints through their activity across all their touchpoints, such as websites, mobile apps, store visits, and phone calls.
All the successful digital firms like Nestle, Starbucks, Walmart, Coca-Cola, and Walgreens use this data to respond, based on context and develop deeper insights about their customers by applying analytics.
Here are top 4 ways to businesses are improving the customer experience:
1. Hyper-personalization – make them feel unique, focus on each individual journey
2. Seize the moment of truth – act in real time to impact each and every interaction with customer
3. Empower employees – get your employees in the game so they can go extra mile to drive customer behavior
4. Continuous improvement – get all the departments to pass the customer information while interacting with customer
Amazon, Nike, Zappos, Apple, Starbucks and Walt Disney are the top brands, based on the customer experience they are providing in this age of the customer.