The line between the physical and digital world has blurred. With technology’s rapid change of pace, how we live, work and play has transformed in ways we once thought was not possible. This new world of digital transformation has even given rise to a new type of customer – one who shares their experiences on social media, expects 24/7 brand engagement, searches multiple touch points to find the best deals and products, and wants an experience that is valuable to them.
With the evolution of today’s customer, the relationship between brand and customer has forever changed, and the days of the idyllic, happy, Norman Rockwell-esque customer are long gone. Customer behavior has shifted – they are no longer walking into their local mom and pop shops where the store owners knew who they were and what they liked. Instead, customers are on their mobile devices and shopping online. And that means brands no longer have the luxury of having their sales team on the ground to sell a product, build customer loyalty, and attract new customers. As such, when it comes to brand and customer engagement, the relationship between the two has been replaced with data and analytics, as the customer has evolved from being human to a tracking pixel.
Simply put, customers are now data points who are identified by numbers, not by name or personal relationship with a brand. And as a pixel, their online behaviors are tracked – when they visit a website, open an email, and view a digital ad. Yet, even with all this data being collected about them, more often than not, customers are still not getting that great customer service they want and expect – instead, when they go to a brand’s website, they get the same pop up message over and over.
What happened to a more engaged and happy customer? What happened to experiences tailored to customers based on their relationship and preferences with a brand?
In this new world and way of doing business, brands and marketers should take a step back if they truly want to understand what the customer wants – great customer service, to be understood, value and brand reliability. Only then can brands and marketers deliver an experience that will engage and transform into customer loyalty.
Empowering brands and marketers to engage with customers in a world where the digital and physical intersect simultaneously is important. Jointly determining the opportunity for and appropriateness of behaviors means they can create meaningful and timely engagement with their customers in a multi-channel world.