Various business trends come and go. Business owners need to have enough foresight to project industry and economic developments in the near and distant future so that they can tailor-fit their strategies to rise above competition. Apart from these developments, business owners also have to take note of customer trends. Businesses should be able to identify these trends and respond to the current and emerging customer needs and preferences accordingly.
Listening to what the customers want and understanding how they make purchase decisions should be considered in all the business planning, product development, marketing, and advertising among others. This year, here are some of the customer trends that businesses should be responsive to:
1. Mobile Accessibility – consumers are increasingly becoming mobile, not only in terms of moving from one place to another but also in the way that they avail of products and services. No longer are physical shops the only way through which consumers can purchase the things that they need and want. Internet and mobile shopping are now possible through various mobile devices as smartphones, tablets, and laptops. Various researches have shown a rise in the ownership and use of these devices. Companies who want to be top-of-mind in the minds of the consumers should think about being accessible through these devices. There are IT consulting companies that specialize in services such as mobile website design and maintenance, application development, and data capture and lead generation. These companies can help companies big and small make their presence felt through mobile devices.
2. Customer Care and Support – this is the high-touch aspect of today’s high-tech society. Although consumers now go for the convenience of being able to shop for and avail of services online, they still want to know that the people behind the companies and businesses they patronize care enough to service their needs post-sale. Companies and businesses should make sure that they have customer care and support facilities available and accessible to their consumers. With today’s connectivity technology, there really is no excuse for companies to be unreachable to their consumers. In fact, 24/7 accessibility anytime, anywhere is something that consumers consider to be the norm today. The lack of these facilities is often a turn-off for consumers. Companies that are unable to provide timely responses to customer concerns are usually at the receiving end of more complaints – the bad part about this is that customers today are all too willing to air these complaints online for everyone to see.
3. Transparency and Security – the use of technology exposes consumers to risks as well. There are all too many reports all over the world about identity theft and other security issues with online transactions. Companies with online and mobile presence should be able to assure their customers that they are protected every step of the way. Among the growing customer trends is the increased awareness of the need to get more information about how consumers are protected in their online transactions. Consumers want to know exactly what their purchase involves, from the processes to the costs and charges. Businesses should be forthright in their disclosure of important information about the products and services that they are offering. This is especially important since consumers are making their purchase decisions even without physically seeing or touching the products.
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