When developing a business, most managers think about growth, figures and objectives but most of the time they forget to think about what customers want and who they are. The world is changing, customers too.
1. Customers are informed ..probably more than you are
67% of Belgian customers have made their decision before they meet a vendor or account manager, simply by browsing the web, asking for advice through social networks. This is a major shift in the sales process where vendors used to be the "tipping point" in a decision.
This also means that customers are informed about the products they buy (composition, pro's and con's, etc.) and are expecting detailed answers to their questions.
But the information process is now permanent and customers do not hesitate to compare prices in stores by typing a few words in their smartphones.
2. Customers are unfaithful
Well, customers have always been unfaithful. True. But today, customers just don't buy your products or services anymore. SERVICE is at the center. In Belgium, 89% of customers declare they are ready to leave their provider for a better experience, even at the same price and some of them (a good 25% are even ready to pay more). Besides this, 70% of business customers regularly review their choice of providers.
3. Word of mouth is still the first and major communication channel but...
Word of mouth is still the first and major sales and communication channel but the word of mouth is now digital. Unfortunately, most companies:
- have no or a limited presence on the web and social networks;
- do not listen to what customers say about them (booking.com, trip advisor, yelp, Google etc.);
- and do not reply or answer to these customers.
- They consider it as "something for the big companies".
- They simply do not take into consideration the size and impact of the digital channels on their business.
4. N°1 request: an answer to their problem or need
The time when companies decided what they wanted to sell and at what price is over. Today, people want an answer to their problem or need. They want to have someone on the phone to answer their questions (and not a multi-option menu with an irritating music), they want a product that "does the job", they are looking for a better work-life balance and spending less time in stupid tasks, they want to be heard. 89% of customers estimate their provider is not doing a good job in answering their needs..
5. Customers are the most valuable asset of your company
A company or a brand is nothing without customers. Customers are the most valuable assets to your business. Competitors could be better than you are in their customers' experience. What if, tomorrow, your customers were leaving? Or even 10 or 20% of them?
You were maybe aware of this or maybe not but in any case: What is you plan to face this evolution and take advantage of it?