The minute your business loses its relevance is the minute it dies. Just ask Toys R Us, which was forced to close all 735 of its US stores and many more around the globe last year after failing to keep up with changes in their industry and in the expectations of consumers.
The Deloitte Consumer Review: The Growing Power of Consumers, a report released in late 2018 revealed that failing to listen to customers is a huge reputational risk and a missed opportunity when it comes to building customer loyalty.
With consumers increasingly able to influence not only what they buy, but also what others buy, through customer reviews and social media word of mouth, it is becoming increasingly important for businesses to understand what their customers care about.
Consumers demand a great customer experience, strong brand values and, often, the ability to influence and shape the products they consume. They are also able to dictate when, where and how they engage with brands, meaning businesses have to be more switched on than ever before. And, in a climate where independent reviews and recommendations hold so much sway, businesses simply cannot afford to ignore those voices.
Research presented at Cannes Lions 2018, revealed that in 65% of cases when a consumer switches brands, it’s because the company failed to stay relevant. So what is relevance?
To be relevant, your brand needs to be affordable, accessible and show empathy. The Global Consumer Insights Survey 2018 by pwc revealed that price, location and trust are the key factors people consider when deciding what brand to buy, so businesses need to ensure they are addressing each area.
Consumer expectations change over time though, which is why the establishment of a transparent relationship with customers is so crucial. Tracking what your customers are saying about your products, your services and your industry keeps you one step ahead and is your chance to learn about their behaviors, habits and preferences. By doing this you can adapt and change as needed, building trust and advocacy along the way.
For a good example of this strategy in practice, look no further than Coca-Cola, who go one step further from listening to their audience by actually collaborating with them and utilizing user content in their marketing. Their recent TV commercial challenged teenagers to submit short video clips “sharing what it feels like when they take a sip of Coke” and is a great example of a brand determined to connect with their customers.
Meanwhile, Amazon’s consistent commitment to remaining highly relevant led to a ground-breaking partnership with Twitter. The collaboration allows users to add products to their shopping basket simply by replying to product Tweets using #AmazonBasket and so begin their customer journey with social media interaction. Purchases are completed using the standard Amazon transaction portal, but the initiative provides a simple platform where conversations between business and customer can begin.
Collaborations like these are an effective way of remaining relevant in the eyes of your customers and crucial to the growth of businesses.
At SugarCRM, we are on our own journey and are constantly evolving to ensure that not only do we stay relevant, but we lead the way in driving innovation in the field of customer relationship management. Our quarterly software releases ensure our service remains the top-rated in our sector, but every innovation, tweak or change of direction we make is directly informed by our customers.
The new future-focused features we introduced in our Fall ’18 exemplify that philosophy. Our customers and their habits were the focal point behind the improved quotes configuration, clearer data visualizations and improved advanced workflow functions that help set our latest release apart from the competition, providing a simple, intuitive experience.
That’s why we’re the only CRM software provider with a positive Net Promoter Score, having built trust and advocacy among our customers by listening, ensuring we stay ahead of the competition, and as a result remaining relevant in the marketplace.