We are living in an era Forrester calls, “the age of the customer”. And in this era, there is clear evidence that consumer behavior and expectations regarding service and experience are changing.
In addition, new technologies are changing the way customers and their vendors interact, and introducing new demands regarding how different services are delivered.
This transformation is led by the Millennials.
The new kid on the block
But what are these 'creatures' called “Millennials”?
Born between 1980 and 2000, they already carry very heavy wallets, which this year alone are projected to account for between $600 million and $1 billion in sales. In decades to come, their economic impact will increase dramatically, as the generation comes completely of age and reaches peak buying power.
To say technology is a significant factor in how this generation communicates is an understatement.
Their purchasing patterns are much different than in previous generations. They use their comfort with technology to their advantage - by comparing prices, learning about the latest trends, and getting the best deal possible before making a decision.
Both as customers and as employees, they want to feel empowered, to get a question answered or an issue resolved at any point during their journey with a company; and they expect their service interactions to be painless.
Fighting back using analytics
In order to cater to the new breed of customer, service professionals need to focus on effortless interactions. They need to harness the new technology to their advantage and to explore new communication channels (such as video chat with screen sharing and annotation, as well as remote control of customer devices to perform tasks on the customer’s behalf). In addition, a greater focus should be placed on mobile customer service interactions, which will provide support for value-added mobile usage scenarios.
Service providers need use digital technology to learn more about what their customers want. And what they want is proactive advice and services through a consistent, omni-channel approach.
To get there, service professionals need to adopt a customer-centric strategy, which is built around customer needs, instead of products. This approach dramatically improves efficiency and business processes to compete with new entrants in the market (to stay relevant in price wars).
If organizations don’t make better use of new technologies and analytics to become part of their customers’ digital lives, they risk becoming sidelined by alternative providers in important new service areas.
Click here to learn more about how to create a perfect experience.