Customers’ behavior and interactions with the brands and businesses they buy from has changed dramatically in the last few years. Their attitudes and expectations have evolved much faster than businesses’ ability to build positive experiences. Despite the fact that companies have access to ever more sophisticated and powerful technologies and solutions to understand their audiences, manage customer experiences and build engagement, customers believe companies have failed to improve their handling of customer relationships in the last three years.
Customers are quicker to judge businesses critically and are less willing to forgive poor customer experiences that fail to meet their expectations. For the majority of customers, three negative experiences are the limit – at which point they consider switching their business to another provider. Customers are more prepared to act decisively when their relationship with a business takes a turn for the worse. With customers willing to broadcast openly to contacts through social media channels to punish poor service and experiences.
Focusing on the specific engagement mishaps and missteps which do the most to undermine customers’ confidence, trust and preparedness to enter into an engaged and positive relationship with the business they transact from, our research has identified the top three problems as:
1. Irrelevant and impersonal communications which are not informed by customer knowledge and insight and fail to provide value
2. Keeping pace with technological change
3. Disjointed communications caused by company silos
There is a clear opportunity for brands and businesses to deepen interactions, and enhance the value of their relationships with customers. At the same time, the findings reveal how a focus on knowledge and trust can engender engagement and positive outcomes for both parties. Based on our extensive research and surveys, we have developed a new model for customer engagement to help organizations to seize this opportunity, which focuses on the role of knowledge, trust and value in building engagement over time.
The question becomes can marketers, and brands, ignore the individual while focusing on the mass market segments? If we ignore individuals we “roll the dice” because we don’t know who is listening or when a negative comment is going to go viral. For this reason we need to listen to our customers everyday but technology can only take us so far we need real people to listen to real customers because we cannot afford to loose any customers at a time when market share is being replaced with being a more profitable company.