With the advent of the digital communication age, customers have new ways to communicate and shop that didn’t exist 30 years ago. Effectively, for the customer — and therefore for your business — the world has become a much smaller place.
A customer’s interaction with a business today rarely occurs in person. Most contact happens through electronic means.
Thirty years ago, businesses drove technological advances. But today, consumers are driving technological advances. They are demanding the ability to interact with your business in the way that is most convenient for them.
The new digital experience
Further, today’s consumer choices have broadened; they aren’t limited to visiting the local mall to shop. Instead, using digital technology, they can shop anyplace in the world. Just think about the holiday shopping season — because of expanding mobile commerce, customers can get their shopping done at the busiest time of year without setting foot in a store or post office.
Not long ago most of us limited the use of our mobile devices to finding basic information. We reserved conducting highly personal interactions, like shopping for goods or making financial transactions, to a more “secure” location, like the local store or bank. We didn’t yet trust that our devices were secure enough to enable us to safely make purchases or pay bills.
Today, many of us are confident that these issues have been resolved. We’re more willing to complete the transaction on a mobile device. And, because so many of us are willing to use mobile devices to shop or bank, we’re in a position to make and execute purchase decisions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
Meeting the customer's needs
That kind of demand from customers puts today’s businesses in the hot seat. You’ve always had to meet your customers’ needs; now, you have to do so at an increased pace, during new hours, using new methods. While voice-based communication with customers still plays a strong role, consumers are increasingly looking to digital communication methods and demanding the flexibility to interact with companies through the customer’s preferred media. And, because customers are no longer limited to making purchases locally or by speaking to an agent, you have to make certain that providing a positive customer experience (CX) moves up in the hierarchy of your business’s priorities.
In this way, your business goals will reflect the importance of customer satisfaction and help you keep existing customers and gain new ones. Because if your CX isn’t keeping customers happy, you can bet they’ll move to a competitor that makes it a priority. To compete and grow your revenue, you’ve always had to understand who your customer is, but today, that understanding is even more important. Without sound knowledge about your customer, you can’t expect to deliver an outstanding CX.
In Customer Experience For Dummies, Sheila McGee-Smith covers this and more, including:
- Examining today's digital consumer
- Customer experience in the context of digital transformation
- Looking at the company roles in CX
- Using the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance CX
- Ten customer facts to remember