Identify Shifting Customer Expectations
After completing this unit, you’ll be able to:
- Explain why connected customers demand connected journeys.
- Learn how customers balance personalization and privacy.
- Explain how technology has changed the way consumers interact with companies.
- Deliver personalized consumer engagement at scale.
The way brands do business is rapidly changing, and customer expectations are driving that shift. What’s defining these new customer demands?
- Connected: We live in a world of constant connectivity. People are now managing every aspect of daily communications from their mobile device(s).
- Personalized: Organizations need to ensure the customer is receiving relevant, personalized experiences, whether they’re opening an email, seeing an ad, or on the phone with a customer service representative.
- Digital: In the age of the customer, technology fundamentally changes the way customers interact with companies.
Let’s explore these three pillars in more detail.
With smartphones in the hands of nearly every person, mobile keeps everyone constantly connected. People don’t just call, text, or email from their phones anymore. They buy groceries, compare product reviews, solve service issues, follow brands on social channels—and the list keeps growing. Customers judge companies based on their experience as a whole—not just interactions with individual departments—and they expect consistency.
These connected customers are information-savvy and expect a consistent and intelligent experience across every interaction or communication channel. And brands need to make sure they’re delivering seamless customer experiences across channels—website, social media, mobile, and in person—and across areas of their business: sales, service, marketing. About 70 percent of consumers say connected processes—such as seamless handoffs or contextualized engagement based on earlier interactions—are important to winning their business.
Customers don’t like to wait—they are keen on self-service tools that empower them to find quick answers on their own. When they do need more personalized help, they’re not apt to wait on hold. Customers are 4.7x more likely to view real-time, personalized messaging as important versus unimportant.
To get a 360-degree understanding of each customer and offer the experiences they demand, companies need a new breed of technology and rich customer data.
But how can companies provide personalized experiences when customers don’t trust them enough with their data—the same data that can help companies shape better customers experiences. When brands make it clear how customer insights are used to improve their overall experiences, then customers are more on board with sharing their information.
- Eighty-two percent of customers will share relevant information about themselves in exchange for connections between their digital and in-person experiences.
- Eighty-one percent of customers will share relevant information about themselves in exchange for more consultative help from salespeople.
- Eighty-five percent of customers will share relevant information about themselves in exchange for proactive customer service.
As technology evolves at a head-spinning pace, customers have been conditioned to expect faster and better experiences. Customers are far more likely to view various emerging technologies as revolutionary, rather than hyped, with artificial intelligence (AI) playing an increasingly prominent role in their daily lives. There was a time when the mere presence on a social channel or existence of a mobile app satisfied demands, but no more.
Real innovation, not lip service, is a deciding factor for most customers: 56 percent of customers actively seek to buy from the most innovative companies.
Technology, of course, plays a significant role in those innovations. Fifty-nine percent of customers say companies need cutting-edge digital experiences to keep their business.
While some emerging technologies are only starting to take root, a majority of customers say these technologies have transformed (or are actively transforming) their interactions with companies: the Internet of Things voice-activated personal assistants and AI.
Now you know how to create a personalized customer experience, but how do you scale while maintaining the personal engagement with every customer? Enter Marketing Cloud, the world’s #1 marketing platform that enables you to know your consumer, personalize everywhere with AI, and engage across the entire journey. It’s the only integrated consumer engagement platform that enables you to deliver personalized consumer engagement at scale.
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