Monday, March 16, 2009

The 7 new truths about your customers -consumer power

The 7 new truths about your customers – from Profit Magazine

How you can employ just a few simple tactics to satisfy your customers' fast-rising demands.

By Kara Aaserud with digest and comment by Sieg Holle

The Customer king is a positive change factor and progressive agent .for improved high value growth everywhere

The information revolution is bigger then the industrial revolution with many more far reaching implications .We live in a Inter-Net connected or wired world, without virtual borders. This is a world where the customer is king, in a highly aware society that has the ability to instantly communicate their requirements, their hierarchy of needs everywhere 24/7 in the convenience of their residence. They mostly have the freedom of choosing the products and services that suit their needs and requirements through their purchasing power. The ability to instantly communicate, find alternatives, purchase what they want, allows them to overcome many old restrictions, restraints and hurdles. The new reality trend:

o Causes a revolution in customer ,the buyers’ expectations

o Empowers customers to find better service, price and selection with little or no effort.

o Freedom of choice ensures that the old saying “buyer beware” has shifted to “seller beware” –you can easily lose your source of revenue if you don’t deliver on your promises

You need to understand how this revolution has created the seven new truths about your customers-the bill payers, the taxpayers, the service payers, and your market constituents-and how you can employ just a few simple tactics to satisfy their fast-rising demands. The stakes are high .Conversely if you do not listen, do not adapt to the new communication reality you could fail and be part of a splendid but spent force and tradition that once ruled by taking the customer for granted.

It has become easier to mobilize change agents, advocacy group and those that have a cause. The new Ralph Naders, will instantly tell every one of “consumer lemons”, the new Kings will instantly share the “I have a dream philosophy “with their interested peers to change and challenge the existing order.

The people that spend the money for products and services are the new customer Kings. Customers that expect to be heard If they are ignored, mislead, monopolized or taken for granted they have the power to say no. instantly inform others and affect change by moving their spending elsewhere. A summary digest of the new rules and their implications follows.

New customer rules

The facts and reality


1: Customers won't give you a second chance

“ lower bad service or bad performance tolerance levels”

“ more informed –the easy access wired information web revolution “


- 23% of Canadian consumers said they would quit doing business with a company immediately after a bad experience, twice the level (11%) in 2007.

In the same period, those who said they would speak to a supervisor before taking their business elsewhere tumbled from 49% to 36%.

In a world of consumer empowerment, you have to get it right from the beginning.

Bad service desertion - due to a dichotomy in the marketplace. Some companies are getting customer service horribly wrong, more are starting to get it right. Each time consumers get a taste of great service, they no longer wish to settle for the subpar variety offered elsewhere.

2: Customers control the conversation

“Companies no longer hold absolute sway over the decisions and behavior of consumers, “

Unhappy consumers used to have few means to tarnish a company’s name: word of mouth and their inner circle of family, friends and colleagues

. Rise of social-media channels such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, and of Web-enabled mobile devices that make it easy to complain in real time about a lousy customer experience. And the Internet’s archival nature means a bad review lingers in cyberspace.

Satisfied Customers Tell Three Friends, Angry Customers Tell 3,000,

The Web not only provides consumers with a platform for expressing their preferences, grievances and experiences, but it also provides companies with a means of listening to them

When you come across negative feedback—which you will—respond with sincerity and transparency

3: Customers expect to be heard

“Virtually everyone has an emotional desire to be heard,”.

Never before has feedback, and the ways in which you collect it, mattered more to your customers and, therefore, to your reputation.

If you don’t offer them a range of channels through which they can share their frustrations and concerns (or compliments), they’ll soon find their own, often more destructive, outlets.

“A company that fulfils that need will have a huge advantage over competitors who ignore it.”

4: Customers will bail if you keep them waiting

Ten years ago, you could take three or four days to solve a problem,” Today, clients want an instantaneous response.”

The gap between what clients expect (90%and what companies typically deliver is 54%

In our wired, 24/7 and globalized economy, speed is king. If you can’t get back to customers quickly enough—whether by phone, blog, e-mail or face to face—someone else will.

Set specific response times then design systems to deliver

5: Customers know more than you do

What value do you bring to the transaction if the customer is better informed than you are?

It has become far easier for consumers to do their own web research and shop around before even entering the store. This informed group is growing fast and is over 1/3 of population

Customer has already been to all the comparison websites that the companies do not want you to go to,

Switch your focus. “It’s highly unlikely you’ll win the information war,”. “You should try to win the relationship and service war instead.”

Staff ,who are passionate about the product or service, take the fear and complexity out of the buying process and have the emotional empathy

Have the right organizational structure in place, including training and incentives. to build a culture of good customer service.

6: Customers see transparency as the key to credibility

Transparency keeps the firm credible and, more important, gives it an edge over its rivals

The bleak economy likely has you feeling even more inclined than usual to keep your cards close to your chest. Yet it’s tough to keep bad news secret in an ultra-wired world, and if it leaks out online, the damage to your firm’s reputation can spread far and fast

When you make mistakes, you’ve got to own up to them. And it’s much better if you own up to them before somebody else decides to own up for you.”

“People find it refreshing. They realize that I’m a person like they are, that I’m a human being. And that has allowed me to move ahead of the competition.”

7: Customers insist on individual treatment

You need to nurture advocacy.”

A cookie-cutter approach that analyzes consumers based on broad measures such as age, sex and income doesn’t cut it anymore. As customers become increasingly diverse, the gap(30) between what they want—more personalized, customized service (88)—and what companies are delivering is widening.(58)

The key to understanding customers is to listen to what they have to say and respond.

The objective is a simple one: to truly get to know your customers, so you can serve them in a way that meets their individual needs

A‘one size fits all’ approach, which is the standard model, all you can really do is throw more money and people at it, and constantly strive to address the mass,”. is not optimal. True competitive advantage comes from being able to tailor your products or services to the individuals you serve

Analytics software that measures client behavior. “A lot of ROI models around customer service are hopelessly outdated,”. “They’re typically based on frameworks of the customer’s lifetime value, which are good but not sufficient for this new world of virility and word of mouth.”

A executive summary of the new consumer reality – The Customer king

No comments: