The future of business is being led by customers. Today, they have the ability to rapidly and easily influence new and innovative business models. But how will customer strategies need to change in the fluid and increasingly complex world of digital business?
Opening the Gartner Customer 360 Summit, Don Scheibenreif, vice president and distinguished analyst at Gartner, said the future of digital business is where people, businesses and the Internet of Things interact in a seamless dance.
Customers will start in small ways and see what happens. They may in fact become your competitors. This puts more pressure on organizations to re-think the way they engage their customers on these dimensions:
Many organizations have been attempting to reduce the activity required to engage with customers to lower their costs. The results has been disengagement in the eyes of the customer.
“An actively engaged customer is more willing to participate with the organization through multiple channels, ranging from online self-service tools or mobile application to community participation or user group involvement,” said Mr. Scheibenreif.
Emotional engagement, built from multiple factors, is often a more powerful influence than rational/physical elements in how a customer engages with an organization. Those customers who are emotionally engaged are more likely to complain less, buy more and contribute more than those who are not.
Rational customer engagement is the involvement of a customer in accumulating lessons on a product or service and conducting additional fact-finding and research.
“The customer will decide what level of further relationship investment is warranted based on this research or general knowledge of the product or service, and they will then develop an appropriate depth and understanding of the product or service and the vendor,” said Mr. Scheibenreif.
“Their level of engagement will therefore by linked to rational elements associated with the product or service, such as value, quality, detail and innovation,” he said. “This elevated level of knowledge may then manifest itself in additional activities, such as participation in a self-service community, engaging in co-creation or a customer panel.”