Customers nowadays, in the current hypercompetitive market landscape, are growing more and more demanding and, with their expectations and needs reaching higher standards, they tend to play a more active and powerful role when it comes to buyer’s journeys. Their purchase path has considerably changed, and businesses aiming to survive and strike the competition are urged towards embracing new approaches. Namely, investing in discovering audiences’ needs, anticipating customers’ need, and providing seamless experiences are the top imperatives. As a matter of fact, regardless of the industries, they work in, market leaders have started implementing customer-centric strategies, shifting from the traditional product-centric approach, in order to make better-informed decisions and to shape their product development cycles accordingly. Understanding customers with higher accuracy allow businesses in developing suitable strategies to address their needs and to put them at the centre of your organization, in order to deliver superior experiences at every interaction your customers have with your business. Hence, your company’s customer-centric shift needs to involve every single part of your system, from the strategies to the business model, and brand image.
Nevertheless, such efforts need to be continually contextualized, adapted and to coevolve with customers, as change is the only constant. Customers’ expectations and attitudes continuously modify, their online behaviour evolves, they reach new requirements, such as unceasing accessibility, personalized conversations, customized solutions. Moreover, customers tend to mistrust businesses and brands, to value relationships with the companies they interact with, to be more engaged with brands they share an emotional bond with, while their preferences’ shift is more and more rapid and frequent. Customers are demonstrated to be grown more aware, researching information long before they are sales-ready, seeking after authentic and transparent businesses modelled on their needs.
Today’s consumers thrive for seamless, positive, relevant, and personalized experiences, favouring peer-to-peer information share, real-time and moment-marketing, opting for optimized, contextualized, and highly-personalized solutions based on which offers better suits their needs. Therefore, besides becoming more customer-focused, adopting excellent storytelling to connect and engage with audiences, and focusing on each interaction to build up relationships and emotional bonds with customers, businesses are called to embrace and anticipate change, investing in digital initiatives that would grant them to be customer-centric. Such an approach, in the long run, would result as the most sustainable and successful since it would provide several key differentiators while yielding considerable competitive advantages securing a high degree of flexibility and adaptability to change.
Customer-centricity trends and predictions
The constantly changing digital landscape urges businesses in sensing the market and adopting the latest technologies if their aim is to better answer customers’ expectations and anticipate their needs. By analyzing the context, some trends and predictions are simply retrieved, highlighting the possibilities to improve your company’s current customer-centric approach, as well as to start investing in tomorrow’s opportunities, serving your audience better than your competitors.
First of all, businesses are suggested to start investing more in creative and organic media, such as video, infographics and content management, which needs to be highly relevant and personalized, in order to improve the storytelling potential around their brands. Videos are reporting as the most engaging content online, and it also provides customers with the possibility to experience your products or services far before the final purchase, also considering that many users tend to research online the offers they are interested in. Hence, the major trend to be addressed is to provide and deliver superior experiences online at the very early stage of the customer journey, and investing in videos would be an effective approach. Secondly, and directly streaming from predictions concerning customers’ engagement, immersive technologies such as Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality represent secure investments. Given that providing online experiences is the top priority, AR and VR could provide your company new medium to move forward customers along the sales pipelines, by offering customers yet another more immersive way to interact with your products or services. Ultimately, this would positively influence customers’ decision-making and increase their engagement. However, AR and VR are not the only technologies your company should consider investing in.
Nowadays, Artificial Intelligence, automation, and Intelligent Assistant are leading customer interactions, and it is demonstrated they will play a major role in improving customer experience. AI technologies secure companies in achieving superior results, especially when it comes to crafting hyper-personalized experiences, orienting businesses’ efforts based on customers’ interactions, which are constantly tracked across all their journeys. Such technologies also entail the opportunities for instant-marketing, making immediate adjustments based on real-time interactions. In-moment marketing, in a fast-paced competitive landscape, is significantly enhanced by IoT medium, from a predictive analysis, APIs, geolocation, to machine learning, which grants your company with a broad system of interconnected devices, platforms, and machines. This, in turn, supports businesses in designing customized offerings by conjugating data analytics, customers’ individual needs, and personalized content, in real-time and synchronized with your customers’ interactions. Potentially, investment in such digital tools would ultimately lead your business with the unprecedented ability to identify and anticipate audiences’ needs. Conclusively, a strategic investment and re-organizational effort would become necessary, especially in terms of transparency and authenticity. Including credible voices and reviews, in order to boost customer trust, has to be a core ingredient of your company’s recipe for distinctive customer-centricity. Adopting your customers’ jargon, while staying authentic to your brands’ image, establishing more human-interactions balanced against automation, as well as constantly proving trustworthy and yet provide content that resonates with your buyer persona, will be no longer be suggestions, but essential imperatives.
Hence, provided that the only constant changes, successful businesses are urged towards achieving higher degrees of flexibility, starting investing today in tomorrow’s opportunities, in order to attain the key differentiators that would determine their future’s competitive stand.