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November 20, 2015

The future of business in 2020

By Kate Ellis
NOW Marketing Group the future of business in 2020

Why would someone choose your business over the competition?

It's not your price, and often it's not even about your product. It's the way you sell what you do and how you make customers feel when they're buying your product.

Walker recently completed a survey called 2020 that looked into how business will be run in just five short years. What will business look like in 2020? They found that we're coming up on a turning point in the way our customers expect us to run businesses. The internet has opened a vast portal of knowledge and this is changing the way our customers want to be treated. So how will the forward thinking businesses begin to operate in way that modern customers expect?

By focusing on customer experience!

By thinking first and foremost about what our customers needs are, we can anticipate and deliver before our customers know what they want. This gives the customer a personalized experience that will blow them away. This is what we gleaned from Walker's survey and video.

What do customers expect of businesses?

Customers expect that you know their needs and create a personalized experience for them. They expect businesses are proactive to solve needs and issues. Customers have little patience for resolutions or promises, and they will dictate the experience they want. If you aren’t ahead of the curve, you’re not wowing your customers. They expect your business to move with speed. If you offer immediate gratification, that’s not good enough.

It sounds scary, but it's not, so don't worry. At the crux of everything is understanding who your customers are. It all starts by knowing what's bothering them. You need to know your customers well enough to anticipate what their pain points are. Once you know what's the cause of pain and strive, you can offer ongoing solutions to fix the problem.

Communication is key. Because of social media, customers will be communicating on their own terms. You’ll have to maintain communication across a variety of platforms, while still maintaining a consistent experience.

Customers Expect:
  • Speed
  • Ease of use
  • Communication
  • To interact on their own terms 

How do businesses change the way they operate?

If you don’t change the way you do business you’ll be left behind, and many businesses have already begun to focus on pro-activity and personalized experiences. Begin by using all sorts of data so you can really begin to know and understand your customers. Gone are the days of a simple survey. Start gathering intelligence on your customers so you can truly know them inside and out.

This is important, because the business of the future will place customer experience higher in their strategy. Products and price will be less important. So pull your data from as many places as you can gather it, so you can really know what your customers want. If you know what they want, you can give it to them!

Your sales team will also have to rethink how they work. Solution-based methods are losing power, replaced instead by insight selling. Address the real problems your customer has, and then provide insights based on that.

Customer service will have to be more proactive. They will have to reveal and solve problems before they even happen.

What does that mean for you?

If you’re already focusing on customer experience, you’re in a good place. You're going to stand out and differentiate yourself from competitors. This is a strategic move towards creating a focus that is unrelentingly about the customer and their needs.

As we move forward into the digital era, experiences will shape how customers look for businesses. Businesses who can successfully navigate great customer experiences will lead the pack.

So in a nutshell: become an informational powerhouse and a source of truth. Gather as much info as possible and make it easily accessible to your team. Stop focusing on the spoken word and instead look at behavior, commitment, purchase patterns, and usage. Look to the past while focusing on the future, and then implement what you have learned based where you've been. Use all that information to make the experience your client or customer receives the best one possible.

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Tags: inbound marketing


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