It is impracticable to construct a strong structure based on a weak base; the same goes for business models. Here is why you should rethink your business strategies.
Ever since the inception of digitalization a couple of decades ago, the market has testified disappearing of over half of the fortune companies, this event was termed as digital turmoil at work. Regardless of any specified business niche, it has been observed across all sectors of the market. Whether you are a part of the software, automobile, business to business, fitness, beauty, or any other variant, the shift is inevitable.
For the sake of surviving and staying competitive in the new era of digital business, companies across all the different divisions are in dire need to understand their upgrade their business strategies by making customers the center of all operations. They need to understand their customers based on their buying habits and usage patterns. As a result, throughout the change in the core nature of business should be observed.
Today companies are aggressively progressing forward in the course of creating a customer-centric model, taking a stance to formulate an effective procedure to nurture and encourage customer-business relationships.
Competitiveness is the product of the modern age. If you do not strive to know and retain your clients, there would be a competitor waiting at every corner to snatch them away. Beyond any shadows of doubt, all the successful modern businesses are built on the foundation of expert customer understanding. Uber trails its customers’ transportation behavior. The Sufferfest apprehends fitness behavior. Netflix knows your preferred genre. Amazon, Aliexpress, and other brands know precisely what you like already before you log in to the online shop for a stroll.
Across all the aspects within the industry, one thing is common; businesses with achievement stories are always customer-focused with three common dominant behaviors:
- They have a keen understanding of their customers based on their usage and buying patterns.
- They have the proficiency to mold what customers like into a revenue-generating model. They know how to develop people’s liking towards their products, which drives growth.
- Most importantly, they own the billing relationship with their clients.
This is what the future holds for business: Customer-centricity instead of Product- centricity as was observed in the case of the most successful and faster-growing vertical B2B platform, BeauteTrade.com, which accredits its massive growth rate to its customer centricity and feedback. They claim to be looking at technological advancement from the eyes of their customers and perceive it to be the secret ingredient for their success.
What Are the Modern Customer Expectations?
Customer Expectations are the bundle of things or actions expected by any customer during interaction with a business or platform. Before the competition started to whirl up all high, customers were expected to demand basic things like quality and affordable pricing. But with modern business in charge, current customers want a lot more than the traditional aspects. They are now demanding for proactive services, allied experiences across various channels, and personally tailored human interactions.
To understand the culture of new-age customer expectations, various studies and surveys were conducted globally. Consumers and business buyers were both covered in the survey, which reveals that almost 76% of the customers admitted that it is now easier than before to take their business elsewhere. They have expressed that in the presence of all these similar businesses, they tend to shift from one to another in search of an experience that matches their expectations. Every day a new company is coming to market, with infinite choices in every field from the social, cloud, mobile to artificial intelligence, businesses are asked to deliver tailored services, immediate experiences, and value. All these things are collectively giving rise to the customers to expect and desire for superior results whenever they engage with any business.
Pain Points for Business to Move towards a Customer-Centric Model:
Though the shift is inevitable, yet it does not translate as an easy task. Being fixated on to the product specified business model for almost all eternity, businesses are facing multiple substantial challenges while shifting towards a more acceptable modern business model:
Packaging and Pricing:
Packaging and pricing are not as easy to change and refashion as it may seem. It takes upon a lot of time and effort to launch an entirely new phase of pricing and packaging, especially when the competition is moving too fast to keep up with. It is burdensome for established businesses and new startups to proceed forward with the aggressive pace in the middle of all this struggle.
Securing and Fostering Customers:
The entire process of acquiring and fostering existing and prospective customers is a demanding task that can create data headaches for many. It is essential to cater to the needs and demands of all existing customers as it is for potential clients. Customers need to believe that their voice is heard and their issues are being answered. Moreover, customers also demand human interaction; talking to a bot concerning any matter cannot be their preference.
Processing subscription changes:
This is another important and crucial aspect that business seems to struggle with. In the previous model of business, there was no option for the customer to make any sort of alteration in their business deals or subscriptions once the sale is done. This has changed, with the modern-day business, customers have the right, and they are facilitated by providing them flexibility to make necessary changes in their subscriptions even after the signup. They can now add up the number of services they require or products that they are purchasing, etc.
The new customer-centric behavior is making it increasingly difficult for businesses to gauge and forecast the accurate revenue, for many, it is becoming a manual pain. Since customers are having an endless array of choices, businesses are coming up with new, innovative marketing solutions to sell their latest deals. It is making it hard for businesses to come up with accurate revenue predictions.
Accessing key metrics:
Computing key metrics such as Yearly Recurring Revenue, Net Retention, or Regular Revenue per Account is difficult along with being time-consuming.
The modern companies are trying to find out a means to muscle their way through the challenges brought upon them with brute force. The key here is to break through all the hurdles placed in the way of reaching the modern business model with the prized customer-centricity.
How to own up to Customer Expectations?
If you are inclined towards thinking that the effect of a single customer’s bad experience or missed sales ends with just losing one sale, then you cannot be more wrong! This ripple effect goes way beyond that. According to certain studies, almost 57% of people confessed to stop buying from the previously preferred company because of a better deal provided by the competitor. Furthermore, after experiencing a bad encounter or deal with a certain company, 62% of people shared their unpleasant experience with others. And though this seems like to be a little problem, with the advanced connectivity of proliferation of reviews, this can impose pervasive reputational damage.
Whether your company meets or fails to meet customer expectations, research implies that there is always an impact on the sums and substances.
Customers expect from any business to treat them like humans instead of a mere number. There is a massive chance for all the businesses that are involved in direct communication with their customers. From tailoring marketing approaches, exclusive customer care to improved understanding a customer’s unique needs. As an estimate, 89% of B2B buyers and 72% of individual consumers, admitted to expecting companies to have a precise idea about their unique needs. Moreover, a scary 66% of the buying population said that they are likely to switch to an alternative brand or competitor if they are treated as numbers.
For companies who own up to their customers and are efficient in delivering humanistic touch are rewarded. With a personalized and humanistic touch, businesses can drive client loyalty. According to various surveys conducted on customer behavior, 70% of customers said if a company understands their needs, they are more likely to stick with them for a longer period of time. This point is more applicable to B2B buyers; roughly 82% of those said personalized customer care affects loyalty.
Interacting with customers in real-time:
Customers are now demanding businesses to provide them with immediate responses. With the growing connectivity, customer interactions immediacy has become crucial. Meeting these prospects needs in the first instance a comprehensive understanding of each customer, to help companies deal appropriately when an interaction is initiated. Secondly, businesses need to make these responses come from a human workforce. This will also help in elongating the customer lifetime with the prospect company. Around 80% of customers’ accounts that instantaneous responses to requirements impact their loyalty to a given brand.
To create consistency:
Businesses are to be creating consistency with their customers. Often when companies expand, they have several teams with multiple processes working for them. This can become excruciatingly frustrating for customers who end up conversing with different people in the various department every time. There could be contradictory information and descriptions, which can directly lead to confusion, and often a loss of confidence. Ultimately, that can lead to lost business. Therefore, it is necessary for any business to form a serious customer interactive team and to have account managers to cater to their requirements.
The companies go on to define and describe their brand promise, but at the end of the day, it is always customers who decide whether they have owned up to their promises or not. There is a lot of riding on the people who deliver customer service. Businesses can hire and train their people, but they require perfect tools to deliver value. It is essential that companies own up to their customers. If businesses fail to live up to the expectations of the customers, there is a high chance that they won’t be surviving in this competitive era, which is why it is safe to say, that businesses require changing their behavior to a more pro-active approach.