Consumer behaviour: Fluid business model vital to wooing customers

Omnichannel approach helps brands optimise customer interaction, besides boosting loyalty and trust

As businesses adapt to the new world order, brands need to take some crucial steps to formulate a robust CX strategy.
As businesses adapt to the new world order, brands need to take some crucial steps to formulate a robust CX strategy.

By Raj Kumar Rishi

Consumer behaviour has witnessed a fundamental shift over the past couple of years, especially in terms of changing needs and expectations. Technology has played a significant role in this context as businesses are focusing on personalising customer experience at every pre-sales, sales, and post-sales touchpoint.

Salesforce research shows that while businesses around the world consider customer experience amongst the top five priorities, only a few (17%) are delivering. As businesses adapt to the new world order, brands need to take some crucial steps to formulate a robust CX strategy.

An omnichannel approach
The ever-changing dynamics and rapid penetration of mobile and connected devices are making businesses have a hybrid approach to a diverse set of customers. Consumers still prioritise product quality, its look and feel but as personalisation grows, businesses and brands need to ensure the fluidity of digital and physical models, so that a customer has seamless access to information.

A case in point: there are customers who prefer face-to-face engagement at every touchpoint while others choose to connect digitally or a mix of both. Then, there are customers who do their research on products and subscribe for a trial, yet engage directly with a salesperson to finalise the purchase. Adopting an omnichannel approach helps brands optimise customer interaction and also boost loyalty and trust.

Leveraging the power of data
Data is playing a significant role in predicting customer behaviour and preferences. Brands must leverage their data to extract meaningful trends and insights that eventually result in better products, services, and operational activities. For instance, businesses can enhance the use of tools like chatbots, AI, AR, and VR to show the customer exactly what they are looking for. Further, they must use these tools to guide customers through each step of their journey.

Businesses must also utilise data for customers who would like to explore benefits and newer payment options such as buy now, pay later, mobile wallets, no-cost EMIs, and so on. Furthermore, product exchange options lead to repeat purchases and contribute to the circular economy and customer retention. Customers are paying close attention to after-sales support, partner network, and staff training as these play a role in building long-standing relationships.

Building a feedback loop
The most important aspect of quality customer experience is building a feedback loop. Seeking constant feedback helps businesses understand preferences more closely. The data further helps in taking a product to the market, enhancing it, and demonstrating future readiness. Affinity and loyalty are strongly influenced by this, thereby guiding the decisions of potential customers.

Customer data and insights lie at the core of all businesses and brands. Every decision is influenced by them and backed by technology adoption. As brands seek to build deeper links with customers, a robust omnichannel approach is an effective and personalised way to build brand loyalty.

The writer is VP & MD, Consumer & Small Businesses, Dell Technologies, India

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