Talkwalker shares insights on how brands are now putting their full focus on customer centric strategies.
The days of product-centric businesses are over. Today, consumers want more than just another hi-fi product. They demand more from brands and the most successful brands will be the ones that can create customer-centric experiences by understanding consumers, spotting trends, and unveiling new risks and opportunities based on all these sources of data.
How does a brand do that? According to global social listening and analytics company, Talkwalker, and customer review website, Trustpilot - by paying attention to consumer conversations. When we say the word conversation, what comes to your mind, from a business perspective? Well, definitely it's things like online chatter - social media, blogs, news sites, reviews, forums, etc. But it's also other sources such as customer conversation - call center transcripts, market research, emails, etc. These are all routes through which feedback comes into a business. And now, more than ever, brands need to pay attention to this feedback. The more you learn about consumers today, the easier it will be to connect with them and solve their problems.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, consumers have turned up the volume. They're telling brands what they want, how they should behave and brands have no choice but to adapt or get left behind. As a result, brands have brought consumer conversations to the forefront. In the study, 82% of respondents reported changes in the importance of consumer and customer conversations for their brand since the start of the pandemic.
Brands have now begun to pay attention to what consumers are saying. 28% of respondents consider social media as one of their top three channels to observe and interact with customers. The second place is review platforms. Today, 89% of shoppers check reviews as part of their online buying journey, and 49% of people consider positive reviews to be one of their top three purchase influences. Review platforms present an opportunity for brands to build a community around their brand by engaging with customers and collecting helpful feedback.
The report outlines three strategies brands can use to start their online community building
Using these strategies will help your brand earn the consumers' trust and prove to them that you care about their experiences.
Apart from customer feedback and support, brands are also using these conversation channels to promote their products, and find insights on what their customers might want next. Brands have a potential opportunity to win life-long consumers if they manage to exceed their expecations by giving them products/services they didn't even know they wanted.
The fault in our data collection
According to the study, 50% of respondents stated that access to insights from consumer conversations are limited to a specific department within their organization. This implies that there is still some way to go in terms of data democratization. In order to deliver a truly customer-centric experience for the consumer, brands need to break down their information silos and let customer intelligence flow from all channels, so that teams can quickly access new trends, optimize their marketing efforts, and create truly customer-centric experiences.
In-house data teams struggle with finding enough data, and lack depth in their analysis of conversations. In contrast, brands that depend on external providers, find that their biggest problem is having overwhelming amounts of data. It's is clear that what brands need to do is move away from manual conversation monitoring and instead trust unified platforms as they reduce alot of difficulties.
Regional findings in EMEA
The market perception of consumer conversations changed in the EMEA market with COVID-19. Brands in this market are giving greater importance to consumer conversations and 50% are beginning to report having difficulties in finding these conversations and analyzing their data.
COVID-19 has heightened the importance of conversations across industries. Brands must now prioritize these interactions to find insights that can be used to add value for their customers through products and services. One industry that experienced major boom during the pandemic was e-commerce. The study analyzed how the industry coped with this surge in demand and expecations from consumers.
The total retail e- commerce sales last year grew to $4.13 trillion, and conversations around the industry also saw a greater volume of results than in previous years. The restrictions implemented by Governments around the world forced online shopping models to expand its pick up options to include buy online, pickup in store, and curbside pickup. These options were created with keeping the customer in mind and were adopted very quickly and proved to be a success.
Thanks to the advancements in technology, the conversation can now happen anywhere and at anytime. Brands need to be present at all times to leverage on opportunities and deliver on their promises to consumers. The time has come for businesses to innovate at scale, democratize data and adopt a customer-centric mindset.
(You can download the report here)