Digital can accomplish almost anything. I find myself thinking this all the time. “There must be a way.” “How can this be possible?” “This has to be better.” These are all thoughts that run through my mind personally and professionally. Considering the fact that the iPhone has only been around for seven years, Facebook ten and mobile ubiquity only years old, expectations are set very high for how short of time technology has been infused into our lives.
People have access to a seemingly endless amount of personalization, content and experiences to fulfill any one of their desires. And those choices are just a click away from your brand's social profile, website, email and message.
A product doesn’t have 5 stars? Look elsewhere. I haven’t heard back on my customer service tweet in 10 minutes? Find another brand. My favorite blogger recommends a competitor? Buy from them instead. People are able to make decisions to buy and not buy, to be loyal or disloyal and more in seconds, and technology enables this behavior more and more everyday.
The Challenge of Our Times
This is really the defining challenge of our time. The ubiquity of choice, options and connectivity creates an environment of declining loyalty and ever-growing expectations.
It’s simply not possible to win back every consumer who goes to a competitor, but it is possible to make up for those losses and even recoup more than those losses were worth by bringing in new customers whose loyalty with a competitors has waned.
Harnessing this opportunity centers around getting found when a customer is looking for answers. Brands that produce content based around people’s needs and questions and then market that content effectively will be discovered when people are searching for new answers.
But it’s also essential to retain as many customers as possible (obviously, right?). Delivering personalized solutions and information to existing customers will keep them engaged, while ensuring customer service is eager to keep them happy remain priorities. The good news is few brands are doing this well. Even the brands that shoot for doing this well (not even great) will exceed most expectations, and tools are making this faster and easier than ever. The question for brands is whether or not they’re willing to adapt.
The bottom line is flexible, responsive organizations are the only ones that will be malleable enough to react to consumers ever-changing expectations and priorities. There is no one-size-fits-all for all customers. They expect real answers to their specific problems. The brands that deliver have the opportunity to gain from a competitor’s loss.