Enterprises need to be more focused on customer relevance

Customer loyalty is just as much about getting new technology as it is about making a continuous effort to remain relevant.
19 June 2018

Customer relevancy is a growing factor in business transformations now. Source: Shutterstock

Business success isn’t always about knowing your products and understanding your employees. It’s also about putting yourself in your customer’s shoes and understanding their needs.

Unfortunately, in the age of technology, few companies seem to have maintained their laser-like focus on the customer.

In today’s day and age, customers want new and emerging technologies to play a part in their every interaction with companies and they want to ensure that the business does everything they can to transform their experience.

However, according to a new study by Accenture, “U.S. companies risk losing $1 trillion of revenue if they fail to maintain customer relevance, forcing consumers to seek alternative brands. Once gone, more than one-quarter of the consumers are unlikely to return.”

In fact, the study revealed that companies that adopt new capabilities are more agile, responsive, and innovative and therefore, better suited to achieve above-average revenue and profit growth.

Let’s talk numbers

Sixty-one percent of consumers switch companies that no longer meet their needs, and 44 percent get frustrated when companies fail to use their personal information to make interactions and offers more relevant.

While the vast majority (85 percent) of business leaders at top-performing companies believe that customer expectations are influenced by relevant, real-time and dynamic experiences, many admit they are struggling to move fast enough.

In fact, according to the research, 85 percent say that their company needs a more agile approach to doing business, and 81 percent agree that they need to reinvent their business to be successful in today’s challenging environment.

“Boardroom concerns are on the rise as many long-established companies relinquish revenue to more agile competitors that are engaging with customers in more relevant and meaningful ways. All organizations need to embed analytics at the core of their marketing operating models and build a broad platform ecosystem so they can adapt in real-time to individual customer needs and preferences,” explained Nikki Mendonça, president of Accenture Interactive Operations.

Building customer loyalty

Customer loyalty is a function of how connected and cared for a customer feels when it comes to a brand or a product.

It’s not just about the company implementing new technologies or solutions, but about how these technologies are married into the business functions to make an impact on the company.

“In addition to rewiring from within, businesses today need to build and scale physical and digital experiences that are not only relevant to customers but also useful and meaningful – experiences that constantly adapt to their ever-changing needs and help improve their lives,” said Glen Hartman, head of Accenture Interactive, North America.

“Our research found that those companies that flex best combine the latest technologies and skills with a sense of empathy for the customer, driving customer engagement in new ways and new measures of success defined by customers and employees alike.”

Showing them you care

For companies to capitalize in this era of hyper-relevance, they need to transform into businesses that are more responsive to their customers’ needs. Five core actions are needed for companies that are undergoing reinvention:

Target core and disruptive growth initiatives

Companies that have a deep understanding of customers’ changing digital needs and preferences are better able to identify areas ripe for disruption and growth. New plays can be funded by optimizing costs elsewhere.

Design products and services as hyper-relevant platforms

Organizations that create products and services that generate real-time customer data are well positioned to use that insight to develop compelling new experiences that adapt to the ever-changing context and needs of their customers.

Build a range of engagement channels through agile technologies and prototyping

So that companies can bring designs to market in a variety of ways, enhancing customers’ experiences and enabling continuous feedback.

Scale a broad set of ecosystem partners

Collaborating with a diverse array of partners enables companies to quickly create a new type of customer experience and value. Each player brings something new and unique to the table – such as customers, industry experience or technology – enabling all parties to benefit from the experience.

Rewire the workforce through new technology and culture of hyper-relevance

Companies that cultivate a mindset that puts customers front and center do so by drawing on the latest technologies to mobilize the right people at the right time. They foster a culture that breaks down silos and continually seeks to better customer relevance.