Numerous manufacturers offer configurators on their websites with which customers can put together individual products. For example, when buying a car, this is an important marketing tool for reaching a decision. Customers often go through this process several times before they order a product. It is therefore very important for companies to optimise the customer journey at this point. From the customer's perspective, this process is a continuous decision-making process. They may visit a manufacturer's website one time with a laptop and another time with a smartphone. From the company's perspective, however, these are usually individual events that cannot be linked to each other. The big challenge for companies in view of the Connected Customer is to establish a holistic customer view.
Link tip: Read here how you can use data science to improve the Optimise customer journey and secure competitive advantages.
The number of IoT-The number of networked ecosystems is increasing along with the number of products. Whether in Connected Car, in the smart home, via the smartphone - customers will be increasingly networked in the future and connected to the internet in one way or another around the clock. The Degree of networking However, this does not increase to the same extent for companies. This becomes a problem when customers expect to be able to communicate with companies at any time and in real time. According to a representative Salesforce customer survey this expectation is already present in 64 percent of customers today. Due to the strong networking, the customer today is a Connected Customer become.
New technologies and new habits
What the Connected Customer expects from companies also depends on the technologies they mainly use. In the case of one of Google Study investigated how the use of smartphones affects the perception of customers. Among other things, it was found that users orientate themselves much more quickly on smaller screens and view ads for a correspondingly shorter time. The Habits and the Perception will continue to change in the future. More and more devices will be able to respond to voice commands. In addition to smartphones and smartwatches, connected cars and smart home kits will also respond to voice. In this context, the development of Chatbots an important role.
The Connected Customer has long since become the norm
Why should a customer wait 20 minutes on hold at a service centre today when they can send a message directly to a company on Twitter in just a few seconds? The "Always-online mentality is changing the shopping, communication and information behaviour of customers. A connected customer therefore has a completely different set of expectations. Customers today are more enlightened and expect companies to be innovative. One consequence of this is that Customer churn much more frequently than in the past. According to a recent Salesforce study 74 % of the customers surveyed are willing to change a provider or manufacturer after just a single bad experience.
Link tip: In this article, we explain what role Customer churn plays a role in the calculation of customer lifetime value..
The direct line between customer and company
One promising way to address the Connected Customer are Chatbots. Marketing expert Sven Krüger believes: "Soon, every initial customer contact could take place with a bot." (Source: horizont.net) This is also supported by the growing number of virtual assistants such as Siri, Alexa, Google and Cortana. One of the central advantages of this form of contact between the company and the connected customer is that the customer is always clearly recognised. Virtual assistants or chatbots also have other advantages:
- they are available around the clock,
- contact is made directly,
- simple enquiries can be answered immediately,
- if necessary, they direct customers to the right contact person.
The heightened expectations of the connected customer
The 360° view of customers has far-reaching consequences for companies. Customers expect to be able to interact with companies in real time. In the B2B sector, this expectation is even higher at 80 % than in the B2C sector, where customers have so far "only" expected this in 60 % of cases. The strong proliferation of mobile applications also leads to the fact that On-demand services and Cloud services are more in demand than ever. Customers today expect companies to understand and respond to their needs. Data science enables companies to take a 360° view of their customers and understand exactly what they expect.