With the digital boom and social networks making the world smaller, information is now accessible anywhere, anytime, on any device. This shift in increased accessibilitychanges customer behavior in fundamental ways:
1. Your customer has immediate access to alternative choices.
2. The buying process has radically changed in the digital age – the control of choices and buying process has moved to the customer’s hand. The customer journey from a prospect to customer is no longer a straight line – it is much more complex.
3. With so much information at hand, customer loyalty is fickle.
Therefore, businesses need to focus more on keeping customers happy and loyal in order to maximize their lifetime value. That’s why companies need to adapt better in order to understand the customer journey and gain more control over the entire customer lifecycle. This is possible with accurate customer journey mapping.
The Age of the Customer
The customer experience in total is the sum of the customer’s perceptions and feelings gained from one or more interactions with the personnel, channels, platforms, or products of different businesses. This experience is perceptible to the customer and influences him/her to react to a particular company or its products.
Some factors that need to be considered in strategizing customer experience initiatives are:
1. Loyal customers are less price-sensitive. When a relationship is carefully built and nurtured, customers invariably are loyal and agreeable to paying more in order to get the experience they prefer and are accustomed to.
2. Brands lose market share when expectations are not met. Companies need to act fast to regain customer loyalty.
3. Customer expectations cannot be generalized. Companies must try to personalize the customer experience and recognize individual needs.
4. In the digital age, bad experiences travel fast. Thanks to social networking sites and blogs, companies cannot afford to ignore consumer sentiment, especially negative sentiment.
5. Acting quickly to respond to a customer’s complaint makes a world of difference. Customers provide positive feedback about companies that act on their complaints faster.
Customers increasingly want more personal and engaging interactions. For the company that plans its relationship-building strategy intelligently and executes it well, these customer interactions can lead to lifelong relationships, even in the age of the new customer.