AFDigital’s Global Delivery Manager, Randy Esteban, recently shared his knowledge during this year’s Customer Love Fest, an annual customer experience conference. Randy started his talk by saying that our generation today is lucky. Why?
The World Economic Forum said that we are in the Fourth Industrial Revolution. We’re going through a period of such rapid technology change that the way we live our lives is transforming tremendously. But what is the Fourth Industrial Revolution exactly? And how is it changing the consumer landscape?
The Fourth Industrial Revolution
We are currently on the verge of a technological revolution that will completely alter the way we live. The invention of the steam engine, the discovery of electricity, and the invention of electronics paved way for the automation of mass production, stepping up the process every single time.
Now, just a few decades after the 3rd industrial revolution comes another one: the Digital Revolution. Characterised by a convergence of technologies, it blurs the lines between the physical and digital spheres. Technologies are fusing, amplifying, and feeding off each other. The possibilities are unlimited — and these are manifested in breakthroughs in artificial intelligence, the Internet of Things, robotics, virtual reality, digital assistance, and many more, impacting all economies and industries.
If you haven’t noticed, artificial intelligence is already all around us, from ride-hailing apps to virtual assistants. These technologies are fully interwoven into the macro moments of our daily lives. Rapid developments mean that organisations have the power to improve their efficiency; but this also gives customers the power to get exactly what they want, instantly and effortlessly. They expect their needs to not just be met, but also anticipated.
This makes your customers smarter. Customers are now more:
Curious. Since consumers have easy access to internet knowledge, they are now interested in researching about little things such as umbrellas and shower curtains. Mobile searches for the best toothbrushes have doubled in the last two years.
Demanding. Because consumers can now search for your product’s details, they expect a better interaction with your brand. Mobile searches for “where to buy [product]” has significantly increased. If they see your product is available, they expect to get it.
Impatient. Searches for same-day shipping and ‘open now’ establishments have increased tremendously. Consumers now tend to leave things at the last minute because they know they can immediately get their needs met.
Companies like Burberry, Fitbit, Uber, and Amazon have stepped up and found the leading edge around customer experience. They are resetting the customers’ expectations of brands and their employees. Some brands such as JCPenney, Walmart, Bestbuy and Nordstrom even plummeted in 2016 when digital came in. However, they went right back up in just a year because of the right strategy.
How? They embraced digital and focused on the customer.
Welcome to the Age of the Customer
Digital Technology has allowed consumers to be moving targets. Customers now hop around various channels a day — starting with a smartphone in the morning, maybe a tablet during breakfast, back to a smartphone while commuting, then to a laptop when in the office, then back to mobile and TV before ending the day. This leaves a huge digital footprint for brands to further analyse.
Shoppers also start their hunt with digital — using social media, search engines, and online marketplaces before actually heading to a physical store.
To keep running in the race, companies have to leverage their data and the available technology to deliver quality personalised service to their customers. They have to exceed, or at least meet, the customer’s expectations. AFDigital shares these tips:
CX Transformation always starts with the customers. With digital technology rapidly developing, traditional business approaches will no longer work. Instead of focusing on ROI and the waterfall approach, companies now need to be agile and customer-centric. Product developments need to be led by data and these data should be available to all departments.
Disrupt or be disrupted. Digital technology has made everything fast-paced. This also applies to your company. Companies need to adapt quickly to new changes or risk being irrelevant in only a few months. AFDigital helps companies build smarter customer journeys through agile digital transformation, scaleable CX operations, and marketing technology consulting, enabling them to disrupt instead of being disrupted.
Invest in your people’s MQ. Employees need to connect to customers deeper and more than ever before. To keep them from being overwhelmed with the ever-changing technology and consumer landscape, it is crucial for companies to invest in talent development, lifelong learning, trainings, and career reinventions for the future workforce.
Imagine your customer journey. While customers are so diverse and mapping their journey is truly difficult, there are ways to do it. The key is to eliminate mundane tasks by digitising them and letting your workforce focus on more intelligent tasks.
5 THINGS TO DO NOW
Be customer-obsessed: Redefine the shopper’s journey
Restructure: Listen & engage proactively on Twitter to find relevant leads (students, workers, managers, teachers)
Instagram: Increase advertising & engagement on Instagram
YouTube: Video content/advertising is a big opportunity for a training organisation
Advertise to new leads and ensure you are remarketing to website visitors correctly
Ready to apply these tips? Share it with your team!