'I want it like that... and now.'
The increasingly high expectations of consumers make them harder than ever to please. Because the experience that they want is often what they've got used to elsewhere, with another product or service...
And those market-leading, disruptive businesses have raised the bar on expectations for everyone else, even though we may not be in the same sector or market.
As consumers today, we're the brats and the teenagers; dissatisfied when things don't work the way we think they should, always wanting more, ever quick to criticise. Technology has made us that way.
Anyone familiar with the 'are we there yet?' refrain from your kids in the back of the car when you've only just left the house will understand this well. We've become a species obsessed with instant gratification, impatient and demanding.
We don't want to walk further than necessary, we don't want to make an effort (thank goodness for Uber) and we don't want to pay more.
We're not into making do, putting up with something not quite perfect or even, in many instances, giving second chances... it's a tough job pleasing us. Brands and businesses have to work harder than ever to earn our loyalty.
That's why I like this straightforward 'return to basics' article by 7's CMO, Scott Horn, first published on Entrepreneur.com last summer. Here, following a recent research study into what influences customer engagement, he shares 7's findings, names the successful businesses really raising the stakes for the rest of us, and identifies 3 core ingredients of customer service success; factors that can be applied to any type of business.
The smartest companies will master all three of the key points discussed above. When one provider cannot meet customer needs and does not make service a priority, consumers take their business elsewhere. The reverse also is true. Lifetime loyalty awaits businesses that understand consumer wants and reflect these characteristics throughout the customer experience. This is the new reality to which companies must adapt -- and Uber and Amazon are a few that prove it's possible. They've made the entire experiences so seamless that consumers might not even realize it's happening. Uber alerts each customer of a vehicle's arrival and a completed payment. Chances are, Uber's riders don't think of these as customer service experiences. But they most certainly are, and they're working.