If you’ve been keeping an ear to the ground you’ve probably heard rumours about the ‘age of the customer’. While there’s no denying that we’ve entered a period where customer experience and satisfaction is more important than ever before, is customer experience really the be all and end all we’re led to believe?
While it might sound a bit over the top to talk about it as the ‘age of the customer,’ according to the Salesforce blog that’s exactly where we are now. Customers are now at the centre of the entire business process and as customer centred businesses grow, we’re all going to have to accept these changes if we’re going to be able to keep up.
According to Salesforce there are a number of signs that indicate the age of the customer is now upon us. Here are a few of our favourites:
- Everyone has a smartphone. With smartphone technology becoming ubiquitous, virtually every single customer now has a purchasing device in his or her pocket. It’s no longer up to customers to go to a physical store if they want to make a purchase, they expect brands to be available to them, on the device of their choosing, 24/7.
- The Internet of Things. It’s not just phones that allow customers to connect, it’s everything. Ordinary household appliances are now capable of remembering a customer’s preferences and delivering them an experience that is tailored to them specifically. Brands need to be able to do the same if they want to keep up.
- Social media allows the flow of ideas. Customers are increasingly able to connect with each other and share ideas over social networks. There are communities set up for just about every possible interest and idea you can think about and its up to marketers and brands to get in on the action by giving customers a place where they can come together and share their ideas.
- Personalisation is huge. Now that we have the technology available for intensive personalisation, it’s becoming an expectation. Brands now have the means to place their customers at the centre of their process through tools like automation, where it just wouldn’t have been possible before.
The combination of technological development and changing customer expectations has created a perfect storm with the customer at the centre.
Organisations need to put their customers first if they are going to succeed – those who continue to resist this development are going to find they start losing customers very soon. Make sure your organisation is set up to thrive in the age of the customer by making customer experience a priority now.