When was the last time you heard in a strategic meeting some defining statement from your execs like: “We are customer-centric”, “Every decision in this meeting should be made based on customer insight”, “Customer First!”, etc.? Feels good? Do you think your customers perceived any value out of it? Did you check?
Are you connected with your end customers?
Answering this question, most execs or managers from these meetings would answer with a big YES! Actually, based on a Cap Gemini Research out of 600 executives, 75% of organizations believe themselves to be customer-centric. So, you’re not alone. But when interviewing for the same research 3,000 consumers, the reality check was brutal: only 30% did agree!
After more than a year into the pandemic, this trend did not slow down. On the contrary, the customer disconnect for a lot of businesses was brutal, especially for all companies still going through their digital transformation, let alone the ones that did not aggressively start it — but this is the minority few laggards.
In my world of Tech B2B, Trust Radius reckons:
“Due to the pandemic, 33% of buyers spent more time researching products before making a purchase this year. 49% of buyers spent time doing extra research because of data security concerns.”The 2021 B2B Buying Disconnect annual TrustRadius research
Chances are the strategies your brand had in motion need to be revisited, relying solely on customer data will probably not be enough. Were you curious to compare repeat customers’ data with Net Promoter Score (NPS) of these same customers? Was it congruent? Not necessarily right? The reason is maybe that these repeat customers had an expensive barrier to exit, so they kept buying from your brand. But when asked by their peers whether it’d be a good idea to buy something from your company they said: don’t buy this solution at the risk of being trapped for many years. I hope not, but do yourself a favor: double-check.
If you’re looking for a wider perspective about how COVID-19 did change customer behavior in Tech, here is a good view of time spent by them during their buying journey coming from the same TrustRadius research:
As a matter of fact, if customers and prospects tend to spend less time with representatives from your company, how do you think you’re being more connected with your customers? Do you start to feel the same pain I’m feeling?
How to reconnect to your customers?
There are several factors widening the customer disconnect, without being exhaustive let’s list some here:
- Digital is prevailing in the buying journey
- B2B brands are not engaging enough with the end customer, they should seek for a more B2B2C stance
- Millennials are becoming a majority of the buyers, 60% in the Tech B2B world as an example
- Customer loyalty is driven primarily by trust (43%), simplicity and convenience (24%) i.e. more driven by their right brain
- Fatigue developing from a customer experience that didn’t evolve enough
- The incoherence of the engagement through all the customer touchpoints as a result of the vendor’s departmental silos
- Not taking enough into consideration customers behavior and emotions compared to customer data (left brain driven strategies)
I would have many things to write about reconnecting with your customers, and I will certainly do this in future posts. One punch line would capture the essence of my state of mind today:
To be continued…
Please share your own perspective and experiences about this in commenting or responding to this post.