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Business and Technology Insights

The Four Drivers of Customer Expectations

 
June 20, 2017

Customer preferences are changing, and market disruption is taking place so fast that even the poster boys of disruption are seeing competition coming from unexpected quarters. Uber, disruptor of the personal transport industry, is going head-to-head with an unexpected rival as Google launches its ridesharing app Waze in San Francisco.

If you want to create agile customer journeys and respond to changing customer expectations, you have to move fast: changes are taking place much quicker than you think. There are four primary areas in which these disruptions occur: make sure youre prepared for each of these.

 

Information: Customers are better informed than ever. They can compare prices on their phones, share information on social media, and contribute to consumer forums in real time. This has caused major disruption in the traditional buying and selling of products.

Social influence: Advertising has ceased to be the primary medium by which customers perceptions are formed. Companies have less and less ownership of the channels and messages that customers heed. Personal recommendations and peer reviews have a major influence on customers purchasing behavior. Shoppers rely on social media, which has industrialized word-of-mouth recommendations, to get information on the best buy in the market.

Technology innovation: Companies technology investment decisions are being driven by the technology preferences of customers. Widespread adoption of mobile and computing technology has forced companies to create products and apps that incorporate these technologies. Customers expect banks to provide access through the mobile technology they are already using. Technology innovation has to be highly responsive to customers expectations.

Market disruption: Historically, companies monitored the actions of a set of known competitors. The game was to outsmart them with better offers but against the backdrop of an accepted rulebook. The digital era has caused a massive disruption in business models so that companies find themselves up against competition from outside their traditional segment.

Car manufacturers find the traditional model of ownership turned upside down by technology companies at the leading edge of the sharing economy that have built a new model of utility. Uber, the leader in that economy and the worlds most valuable start-up according to the Economist, now finds its lunch being eaten by a search company.

Old rulebooks are being discarded, and your customer journeys need to be responsive to changes in all four of these areas.

Read more about creating agile customer journeys and meeting changing customer experiences in my article, ‘How to Keep Your Customer Journey from Passing its Sell-By Date’in the latest volume of our consulting journal, Perspectives.

Dave Anderson is a Partner in TCS’s Enterprise Transformation practice, advising clients in the creation of transformative marketing, sales, and customer experience solutions. Mr. Anderson has 20 years experience in advising clients in the areas of sales execution and channel optimization, digital customer engagement, organizational transformation strategies. Mr. Anderson has held Sr. Leadership roles with IBM, Motorola, and LoudCloud. He holds a MBA with a focus on Strategy, Innovation, and Finance from the University of Michigan.