Keeping up with the Consumers

For most businesses, the dawn of the digital era has meant a significant shift in their approach to customer service. Customer behavior and expectations have changed dramatically in the last ten years. In 2007, Apple had just released the iPhone, Amazon was largely a book buying enterprise and Facebook was the only popular ‘social media’ company out there.

Customer behavior reflected this reality, where ‘brick and mortar’ stores were primarily source of most purchases. Price comparisons and bargain hunting required much more of an effort. Asking friends or co-workers about a product before purchasing was usually the main source about product prior to making purchases. Now, price comparisons and verified product reviews are readily available. In just ten years, customer habits have changed so dramatically. This shift has resulted in savvier consumers than ever before, who are demanding better customer service than ever before.

And keeping up with these demands and expectations is essential in attracting or retaining these new and savvy customers. Because while many business–consumer interactions have changed, one truth remains: Satisfied customer is still the key to success.

So, how can a business make the shifting consumers behaviors work for them?

Invest in an Omni-channel system

Recent Nielsen e-commerce research suggests that over 70% of customers list convenience as their biggest consideration in choosing where to shop. With the convenience that an omni-channel system (like Kloudville) offers, companies can attract customers with the promise of a convenient shopping experience.

An Omni-channel approach ensures seamless customer experience. Customers expect to browse through all available products and services, compare similar items, prices and reviews, place an order and checkout securely, with cost and time efficient options for shipping. Anything less than a comprehensive system which provides seamless functionality can result in existing or potential customers moving on to a competitor.

With applications like Catalog, Inventory and Billing and Account within Kloudville, consumers will find that they have access to rich and detailed catalogs, fully functional and customizable fulfillment process, and efficient payment process. The entire experience is seamless and most importantly: convenient.

Ensure Privacy and Compliance

Enticing and sustaining customers with an omni-channel system has to be part of a larger customer service strategy. Additional consumer concerns also need to be addressed.

Recent KPMG International study revealed that over 55% of global consumers cite that concerns about privacy and security of their financial information has prevented them from shopping with certain businesses. This means that if an organization is not providing security of the highest quality, they could be losing potential customers.

Businesses need to earn consumer confidence by assuring customers that private information is always secure. Highlighting compliance with national or international standards is fundamental to earning trust with customers. Additionally, handling financial information through accredited payment gateways could also help alleviate any hesitation customer may have with any transaction conducted with an organization.

Kloudville’s adaptability includes easy integration with legitimate and internationally trusted payment gateways, such as Moneris, where customer security is absolute.

Think Immediacy and Personalization

Customer expectations have also evolved to become impatient. Consumers demand instantaneous information, targeted promotions and immediate follow-up. Interactions are expected to immediate, dynamic and highly accessible. Cloud-based applications, like Kloudville, are cost effective, and risk-free Access customer information instantaneously, answer questions and meet all consumer expectations from anywhere with cloud-based applications.

Consumers are also becoming more and more accustomed to personalized offers. Targeted messages are an effective tool for reaching out to customers with inciting offers they are likely to engage with. According to Accenture, 75% of consumers surveyed admit they are more likely to buy from brands that know their purchase history and those brands which can make recommendations based on previous purchases.

Using resources like customer databases and big data analytics, companies can study customer history, create educated recommendations and send highly personalized and targeted messages. This approach increases the chances of converting offers into future purchases.

Kloudville makes this personalized simple. To help with creating these targeted messages, use Kloudville’s Analytics and Customer app to access and track customer purchase history. Kloudville’s Interactions features can send highly personalized messages to increase the likelihood converting offer into a sale.

A New Opportunity

Instead of looking at these changes in customer behavior as a danger to the bottom line, companies must look at this as an opportunity to be pro-active, adapt to these shifts and get ahead before getting left behind.