At the recent EDGE Alumni breakfast, hosted by ARN, the leading voice in customer centricity and digital transformation, Nancy Rademaker, spoke about how the changing profile of consumers – their changing tastes, behaviours and attitudes – is disrupting incumbent businesses.
“Customer characteristics have changed,” Rademaker said, as she outlined the acronym C.U.S.T.O.M.E.R, which highlights eight shifts in consumer perception and behaviour that businesses need to adapt to in order to retain their competitive edge.
C is for “Connected”
The modern consumer is hyper-connected with a global audience, she said. There are 4.02 billion Internet users in the world – more than 50 per cent of the global population. That number is set to grow rapidly in the near future, as organisations like Google look to bring broadband Internet to the most remote parts of the world.
“Being connected now starts at a very young age,” Rademaker said. “We see this in five-year-olds writing letters to Santa and including a URL with their online Christmas wish list.”
And, of course, people are connected to one another. There are nearly 3.2 billion active users of social media in the world.
Connectivity has become so core to the human condition that people now struggle to disconnect. As far back as 2010 a phenomenon coined “nomophobia”, or “no-mobile-phone phobia” was recognised. It appears to becoming more common. Putting aside potential health and psychological implications, it is clear being connected is now core to the human psyche.
What this means for organisations is customers expect an on-demand experience. The companies at which they shop or do business must be as connected – and responsive – as they are themselves. The Internet offers instant feedback – when a customer wants something from a company, they expect an immediate response.
Read on for more insights from the EDGE Alumni breakfast. Part 2 looks at the “U” in C.U.S.T.O.M.E.R – “Urban”