A customer-driven economy
In a recent research document by Deloitte, it was highlighted that there are important changes that need to be considered in the way we do business moving forward.
According to the Deloitte report:
“We are living in an era where customers are in the driver’s seat more than ever before and they are craving authenticity, newness, convenience, and creativity. We are living in the customer-driven economy.”
Deloitte - Global Powers of Retailing 2017
What does this mean?
As individuals we are unique, and most of us want our uniqueness to show in what we purchase and do in general. Customers are changing their habits towards bespoke products and services, and are buying less in general, to enable them to spend more on these unique products and services. Quality and uniqueness is the Key now, and businesses must listen to the customer’s needs, and be creative and imaginative so as to meet their expectations. The off-the-shelf mass production for the masses is no longer acceptable to those seeking innovation, customisation and quality.
The Deloitte report goes on to say:
“Customers are seeking new and surprising products and experiences.”
What is important to note here is the use of the word ‘experiences’. It’s no longer as simple as just offering a product or service.
For the customer, the experience of dealing with the business is of greater importance than the sale item itself.
Are they being treated with respect and integrity? Was it enjoyable and informative? These are all important in the overall experience that the customer is expecting; but ask yourself, did you blow their mind? Because your offerings can be sourced at numerous competitors that ARE compared with yours, and the experiences are quickly shared on a range of social media platforms.
This can have a positive or negative impact on a business, depending on the social media review by the customer. According to old thinking, a satisfied customer will tell 2 to 3 people about their experience, whereas a dissatisfied customer will tell 10. In contemporary times however, regardless of a good or bad experience, customers now use social media to inform all of their ‘friends’ and contacts of their experience, which according to the Sensis Social Media Report (2017) is an average of 469, and by the time it’s shared around, can go into the 1000’s or more; as the following national headline did:
“Sydney hair salon forced to apologies after woman’s name and shame Facebook post goes viral”
The headline, which captioned a Facebook post about poor service, received 44,000 likes, and was shared 19,000 times. The impact on the business in question was substantial.
Training staff and employees on providing an experience to customers that stimulates their senses, has never before been as important, and may be critical in the survival of many businesses. We need to clearly understand consumers’ and customers’ perspectives, and respond accordingly. Businesses will need to embrace the changes required and use the current climate in customer trends to future proof their business success.