In today’s digital age if your company doesn’t provide a good customer experience even your devoted customer can switch to your competitor in a heartbeat. In Accenture’s report on ‘switching economy’ they outline that customer switching puts $5.9 trillion of revenue up for grabs worldwide; $1.1 trillion in Canada alone.
Why are consumers so easy to jump ship from your company to your competitor these days?
Consider the change in buying behaviours of today’s consumer vs 30 years ago.
Buying Behaviours 30 Years Ago
Take for example a couple in 1985 who were looking to furnish their new home. To complete their task they likely went down to see Ted, the local furniture store owner. Ted would show them the best pieces he had in stock and they trusted the price because he was Ted, the local furniture expert and his handshake was his bond. The couple finished their furniture buying that afternoon.
Graphically their path to purchase would look something like this:
Figure 1: Path to purchase in 1985
Buying Behaviours in the Digital Age
Instead of going to a furniture store, couples wanting to buy furniture today start researching their options by pulling out their laptop, tablet or smartphone and searching online.
As they search they take a brief 10 second look at each website and quickly evaluate if the site meets their needs. If not, they move on.
– ‘like’ the social media pages of their favourite websites and start following them
– sign up for emails for their top furniture store to get front-of-the line deals
– take a look at their flyer app to look through flyers
– Research blogs about furniture arrangements and Feng shui.
-look on Pinterest (www.pinterest.com) for furniture ideas
-Create posts on social media group walls such as “ISO brown loveseat. Please pm me with pictures and asking price”.
– look online at buy-and-sell related website to see if they can get a deal.
They don’t even have to go to a furniture store while they research their options and if they do they take pictures with their smart phone and then go back home to evaluate their options some more.
Their path to purchase would look something like this:
Figure 2: Path to purchase in 2015
In the digital age the options available to consumers are in abundance; as a result it might take them months before they make their final purchase decision. This gives them lots of opportunity to evaluate where they are going to spend their money; hence why customer switching is so common.
Today’s customers want to feel connected to your company, so make sure you are putting their needs first and you’ll have a better chance of getting, and keeping them, as a customer.
“When you focus on the consumer, the consumer responds” Alexander Wang