It is no exaggeration to say that the effects of the global pandemic will be felt for years to come. Aside from the human toll, GDP fell by 9.9% in 2020 – the biggest fall in more than 300 years.
Coupled with ongoing uncertainty around the UK’s relationship with the EU, it looks like 2021 and 2022 will be extremely uncomfortable for British business. As lockdown eases, UK consumers are starting to spend again – but this could all change in September when the government’s various coronavirus support schemes come to end. It is extremely likely that many businesses will fail in the coming months as the squeeze becomes too much.
Your customers don’t care about you
Although British consumers will talk nostalgically about “lost” brands (Woolworths, Tower Records, Athena, Turkey Twizzlers etc) these examples are a minority. The Meaningful Brands report from Havas Media found that 77% of brands could simply disappear and no one would care.
This is a sobering statistic – but there is another, more encouraging takeaway to consider. The other 23% of brands (those considered to be meaningful) outperform the stock market by 134%.
How to become meaningful
The answer to becoming more meaningful to your clientele has been known (and apparently ignored) for decades – deliver a higher quality of customer service. In their report The Disconnected Customer, Cap Gemini discovered that 80% of consumers are willing to pay for a better experience. Incredibly, 9% are willing to increase their spending by more than half.
As consumer spend slows, insights like this are extremely important. Loss of some customers will be inevitable in the coming months – but you can make up the shortfall by delivering improved service to your remaining client base.
But we are already customer-centric
Like three-quarters of all businesses, you probably believe you are already customer-centric. The reality is that just 26% of consumers believe that companies listen and understand their needs; that 49% gap between expectation and reality is a serious blind spot – and a massive missed opportunity.
With the right tools and information, you can change clients' minds. You probably do have customer-centric processes in some business functions – but they are not consistently applied across the entire business for instance. Or you have valuable customer data locked up in silos where it cannot be accessed by stakeholders from other departments.
But if you could centralise this data, you can unlock its full potential. You can build a full 360º view of each customer and begin tailoring products, services and the support you provide to them. Applying your data in this way allows you to build a customer experience that is memorable, desirable, effective – and which should convince clients to keep coming back and spending more.
Customer Service Management – a vital tool for recovery
Given that corporate and consumer spending is likely to tighten in the coming months, the importance of building an exceptional customer experience has never been higher. Customer Service Management tools, like ServiceNow CSM, provide the platform you need to share data between stakeholders to unlock new insights. It also allows you to build processes that enable every stakeholder to improve and accelerate the service you provide to your customers.
Indeed, now is the time to improve your service offering – because as things get tougher, only your customers can save you.
To learn more about ServiceNow CSM and how improved access to customer data will help your business join the economic recovery, please get in touch.
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