Practically every business model since the birth of free enterprise has been customer focused. The only way a new model is effective is if customers receive a benefit. Truly disruptive business models are created when the customer becomes the catalyst for change, such as in the case of digital music or smart-phone technology. It was the customer in the center of the decisions made during R&D analyses, as well as having significant input into product innovation.
The fact is that the New World of Work supports the empowered customer requiring all organizations to have a good understanding of what creates customer loyalty.
Customers are Loyal to Customers
Consumers are becoming less loyal to big brands as they discover that the voice of the customer empowers them to get what they want, how they want it, and when they want it. In its 2011 Global Consumer Research Study, research consultancy Accenture found that “only one in four consumers feels ‘very loyal’ to his or her providers across industries, and just as many profess no loyalty at all.
Furthermore, two-thirds of consumers switched providers in at least one industry in the past year due to poor customer service. Forty-four percent of consumers said their expectations today are higher than they were just a year ago.”
Technology Creates Empowered Customers
Unlike many technology innovations of the past, the digital age has empowered the customer as fast as it has corporations and leagues of personnel. At any time, consumers and businesses have access to social, mobile, video and cloud services including Facebook, Android, iPad, Foursquare, Google, YouTube, Office web Apps and Twitter; the list is endless and growing every day. Empowering technologies like these have never been so readily available to users. This technology puts tremendous power directly into the hands of customers, who are happy to use it.
There is one constant of technology: it changes all the time. With this change, so increases customer demand. Customers have rapidly become accustomed to instant telephone and electronic communication, and the ability to watch television programs on-demand. Therefore, expectations are quite high that businesses instantly resolve problems and make whatever demand the customer has a reality. This environment of instant gratification, instant communication and instant results allows a customer to make demands, and publicly shout to anyone who will listen, if they are not met.
Customer Service Must Go Multi
With an empowered customer in a position of strength, companies are now viewing customer service as a primary differentiator. Labeled as “delivering a branded experience,” businesses in every industry are stepping up efforts to provide superior customer service. Fueled by continually improving technology and a hunger for instantaneous results, the customer has become more demanding.
Bottom line – these empowered customers don’t just want great service; they want an integrated customer service experience, whether they call into a customer service center, send an email, make a Facebook post or tweet or conduct an online chat session. Multi-channel communication is now part of our daily lives, so the company that makes the customer’s life easier, more convenient and more organized through fully connected access to the company, will win the hearts of the empowered customer.
Find out more by checking out our new book, The New World of Work: From Cube to the Cloud. Visit www.newworldofwork.com.