3 ways through which corporates can keep up with the ever-changing needs of customers

Customer behaviours and beliefs are changing faster than ever and in order to keep up with these changes, businesses must identify and meet these in order to build a solid customer base.

Today’s smart customers are undoubtedly changing the way business is being conducted. The customers nowadays, are much aware and knowledgeable when it comes to their needs and wants and expect innovative products which are reasonably priced, prompt satisfaction, efficient service and speedy results along with constant access. And so, as a large brand, it indeed can be overwhelming to consider the implications of catering to the ever-changing needs of customers. According to the PWC Global Operations Survey, “63% of business leaders said their companies find it challenging to understand their customers’ priorities, and 61% are hard pressed to change directions in response to a customer need”.

“76% of consumers expect organizations to understand their individual needs

81% of consumers demand improved response time.

68% anticipate organizations will harmonize consumer experiences”

-IBM report from the Institute for Business Value

To add to this, the on-going pandemic has significantly changed the customer behavioural landscape with respect to buying and consumption patterns. And, this change is likely to fade away soon. For example, in US during the COVID-19, approximately 15% of US customers tried home delivery of groceries for the first time, with more than 80% being satisfied with ease and convenience (such as time saving) it offers. Besides, at least 30-40% plans to continue getting their groceries delivered even after the pandemic ends. This indicates that customers are ready to give up their old habits on the backdrop of getting convenience and benefits from delivery. Yet, once as world gets normalized world and economic activity picks up, the extent to which customers’ needs and expectations have changed will become much clearer.business strategies

However, this being said as a strategy head or manager of a large brand, you cannot afford to lag now, as you may find yourself far behind and struggling to acclimate your old business strategies into this new pandemic driven world. Below are the three vital steps that certainly can help you in keeping up with your ever-changing customers’ needs.

  • Identifying your customers’ present and future needs

Understanding your customers has become imperative if you want to be successful in your business. It should not merely be a guessing game based on experience or instincts/ideas. You need to understand the mind-set of your customers and need to educate yourself regarding as to who are or could be your customers and exactly why they need your product/service. The best way to do this is by conducting a through customer research to understand customer behaviour and needs. You can take the help by using tracking and metrics in anticipating and responding to changes in a customer’s needs such as asking customers’ opinions through feedback, interviews, surveys, customer relationship management system (CRM) and focus group for this. Subsequently, use this information to create personas that provide a detailed description of your target audience and their needs. As per the Miller + Heiman Group’s Tamara Schenk “only when we know what we currently do and how we do it, can we achieve the adaptability we need to respond to customer changes effectively.”

Also, do not forget to consider about their future wants as well. It is imperative to keep in mind that customers usually are in lookout of purchasing the next new (advanced) thing, and so this calls for anticipating as to what they would like to have in the future and then to plan accordingly. According to Jedidiah Alex Koh, Coaching Changes Lives, “when Apple created the iPad, nobody thought it would mean anything, but they created a want. Entrepreneurs need to be creative, look farther, think about what their customers would want in the coming years, and create products and services that can serve those needs.”

  • Adapt to new emerging trends or habits by bringing in new products

Businesses need to understand the nerves of the customer with new emerging scenarios and then think accordingly of either bringing in new innovative products to meet those emerged needs or can improvise the current product/service in tune with the new emerging need/want. Rather, businesses can also push customers toward new habits through product innovation. For example, the coronavirus crisis propelled people to become more health conscious by opting for healthy foods/beverages containing necessary vitamins. Sensing this, Unilever firm launched Lipton Immune Support tea globally by focusing that boosts one’s immunity as it contains Vitamin C, which increased its revenues.

  • Use technology for better customer engagement

In today’s digitalized world, most of the processes and tasks are completed digitally and moreover people find it convenient. Use technology in such a manner that it should help your business provide customer service support in a way that better fits customer needs. Moreover, focus on social listening, which simply means engaging with your customers on various social online platforms and genuinely building trust to understand their problems and pain points. Once you recognize and understand your customers’ needs, update or innovate in order to come up with solutions that will fix their challenges, create time-efficiency, or reduce profit leak.Customer

Acclimate your processes to meet customers’ needs!

The needs of the customers are changing at a fast pace in the face of COVID-19, especially with new customers entering the market with even higher needs, thus businesses are required to stay up-to-date with emerging customer needs and wants. You need to follow the old maxim “know your customers” which still holds true for today as it ever was. And, surely following these three mentioned keys will help you in addressing the rapidly changing customer behavior and their needs in a much better way. This in turn will greatly improve your chances of delivering the exact experience they are looking for and making them satisfied, retaining your reputation and, ultimately, improve your revenues. Remember, ‘a completely satisfied customer is the valuable loyal customer’!

Comment below with your e-mail ID to receive Ken Research’s free ‘15 Questions template to ask your customers’ to know the needs and expectations!

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