The race has already begun. The question is: are YOU keeping up? Is your organization meeting the expectations of your customers through digital consumption? As a marketer myself, I know this is an exhausting race, one that is on the forefront of my marketing strategy and will be for the foreseeable future.
Customer expectations and demands are evolving fast, in step with rapid technological innovation. Documented over the past 20 years, a series of constant technological advances have helped transform customer expectations while simultaneously providing organizations with the digital tools to offer and improve services.
Wave after wave of innovation is dramatically altering our everyday lives. The increasing disruption and easy accessibility of the internet and smartphones, combined with the ever-decreasing costs of hardware, have meant consumers are fast becoming used to a world in which they have instantaneous access to products, services, and experiences.
According to World Economic Forum, some of the key drivers that have resulted in higher customer expectations are:
- Mobile and Internet penetration: The number of smartphone subscriptions is predicted to almost double to 4 billion by 2025, with nearly all growth coming from emerging markets.
- Connected devices: The number of connected devices globally is forecast to climb from 2.5 billion in 2009 to 30 billion in 2020.
- Data analytics and clouds: As sensors, apps, social networks, and e-commerce platforms create more data, the need for advanced analytics will continue to grow. By 2019, cloud applications will account for 90% of all mobile data traffic.
- User interfaces: Natural user interfaces, which allow humans to interact with machines in increasingly intuitive ways, are becoming common.
- Global accessibility: The world’s middle class is set to grow from 1.8 billion in 2009 to 4.9 billion by 2030. Much of this growth will come from emerging markets, where higher incomes are driving increased access to digital technology.
- Urbanization: It is estimated that 60% of the world’s population will live in urban areas by 2050, up from 54% in 2014. This is already contributing to the expansion of innovative distribution and delivery models in cities.
As a result of these drivers, companies need to focus on meeting and exceeding customer expectations but also work to stay ahead of fast-moving customer expectations. Here are a few tips to consider:
1. Make a shift to Design Thinking:
Design thinking requires a fundamental shift from designing one product or service for many to designing many experiences for one, with the ability to constantly learn and adapt to the changing needs of the customer. At its core, it informs human-centered innovation which begins with developing an understanding of customers’ or users’ unmet or unarticulated needs. By implementing design thinking, you can create a strategy for guaranteeing that innovation and creativity flourish in your organization.
2. Make each experience a personalized one:
Software intelligence is enabling companies to take personalization to the next level, making products or services highly relevant to a very large number of customers at the same time. One thing to keep in mind with personalization is identifying how much to offer—and to whom. The truth is, if you want to meet customer expectations, personalization is required. 70% of customers now expect more personalized interactions with the brands they interact with. – AgilOne Survey
3. Tell multiple stories in a variety of ways:
A brand, like a person, is not singular. It has many facets, therefore many stories to tell. Brand Atomization is the ability to tell multiple stories in varied ways by producing content and experiences in pieces big and small. These stories need to be created in a custom fashion for many groups. To accomplish brand atomization, companies need to focus on the customer journey more than the destination.
4. Make the information easy to find:
Search has never been so important when thinking of meeting customer expectations in a digital way. Search can single-handedly optimize your customer experience by allowing users to access volumes of information quickly and easily, making your website a place to go for information. Knowing that most visitors abandon a website if they can’t instantly find the right information, search is a key ingredient (and an easy upgrade) to exceeding expectations and helping visitors find what they are looking for.
A good strategy to continue to outpace customer expectations involves the ability of organizations to combine digital tools with techniques such as design thinking and brand atomization. This will help create some agility to meet rapidly changing needs in the digital age. And believe us when we say, if you’re not there, you need to get on that track.
To take your digital transformation initiative to the next step, contact us here for a 15-minute consultation.