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We are in the midst of a monumental change in customer behavior, fuelled by three important trends:
These innovations and digital disruptions have led to a paradigm shift in the balance of power between business and the customer. With the proliferation of new channels – the power to influence and be influenced, now sits firmly with the customer.
Say hello to Customer 3.0! Hyper-connected, spoilt for choice and with a ‘want it now’ attitude, they’re shaping the digital eco-system and shaking up the way companies do business.
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With technological change accelerating, customers have learnt to adapt and thrive in an increasingly connected era. How customers purchase, research, make decisions and interact with one another and businesses via the internet has changed dramatically over the past two decades. E-commerce coupled with digital and mobile innovations have irrevocably changed the consumer landscape; driving an evolution in the way customers and businesses engage with, and value, one another.
Customer 3.0 refers to the hyper-connected, highly informed, shared experience generation who businesses can’t afford to ignore. This generation no longer responds to mass marketing techniques. Instead they demand a highly personalized approach across all facets of business including communication, product development and customer service.
Customer 3.0 has evolved from a position of flexing to the demands made by companies; to that of a power player reshaping the consumer landscape. Having evolved from the constraints of being told by businesses how, when and where they’ll interact and purchase, they now demand an altogether differentiated experience.
Unlike previous generations Customer 3.0 isn’t defined by a specific age, category or gender mix - instead they’re defined by their ability to adopt and apply new technologies to meet their individual needs. Online all the time and socially connected Customer 3.0 have seven common attributes:
Highly informed: Objectively gathers and compares information about product features, benefits and prices from a variety of sources
Price sensitive: Value for money deals are intoxicating
Socially connected: Avid users of community-based online tools
Trust the crowd: The opinion of social peers and friends is more important that of the brands themselves
Self-promoting: Happily publish and promote themselves, their exploits, decisions and opinions through social media
Instant gratification: Expect products and services to be delivered to a place, at a time that best suits them
Security unconscious: Fairly relaxed attitude towards internet security and value exchanges.
In the brand and consumer relationship, Customer 3.0 now has all the power.
To attract Customer 3.0 banks must embrace the need to innovate and undergo a complete overhaul of how they do business. They must engage with Customer 3.0 on their terms by:
In essence, banks will have to collaborate authentically in a socially connected world in a way that informs new product development, service and experience. It’s about repositioning; moving from being simply a financial facilitator to being part of the ecosystem where Customer 3.0 interacts.
For banks to stave off the threat of new entrants determined to steal Customer 3.0 share of wallet, fundamental change needs to start now.
October 1, 2013
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