• Stuart Daddo-Langlois

Progressive Pioneer or a Reserved Resister.

Updated: Aug 26, 2019

C1920 R. Humphrey. Plumber. O'Heas St. - Coburg Historical Society

In 2016, Forrester Research Inc., launched their Empowered Customer Segmentation model and subsequent research identifies that 88% of online adults in emerging markets fall into the most progressive categories in their demands for business transformation.

The groups are rated based on willingness to experiment, the devices they use, integration between digital and physical channels, information consumption and self-sufficiency. In Australia and New Zealand, the metrics are a little different, but the story is the same.

In separate research in 2018, PWC found that "43% of customers indicated they would pay more for greater convenience, with 65% indicating that they found a more positive experience to be more influential than great advertising." For example, 40% of respondents in the PWC survey indicated that they would pay extra for same day delivery.

According to Ed Thompson of Gartner, speaking at the Customer Experience and Technologies Summit 2018 cited by eptica in their blog, “To succeed and become number one in your market you must focus on customer experience and CX management if you are to achieve long-term differentiation and consumer loyalty.”Thompson went on to state that 67% of companies say they now compete mostly or completely on their customer experience.

Think about that statement for a moment. Two thirds of companies differentiate themselves from their immediate market competitors based on the service experience offered to their customers and not on the products the sell.

Perhaps more concerning still, one in three customers indicated they would stop doing business with a brand they loved after one bad experience! – "Holy service delivery Batman!" as Burt Ward might have put it.

There is overwhelming evidence that what consumers want most is for companies to value their consumers time. Many of us have spent endless hours waiting in a queuing system trying to contact a call centre, desperately hoping to speak to a real person. But what's worse is how many of us have wasted a day waiting for a service technician to turn up, not knowing whether to expect them to arrive at noon or four p.m.

Why then do traditional retailers believe that "free measure & quote" services or "free in store pickup" of products they can’t or won’t arrange delivery of is in any way adding value to the customer experience and ultimately to their brand? 

Let's take a moment to imagine this consumer journey – you go online and do your research and then decide to go into a store to speak to someone and maybe finalize your purchase. You ask about installation and the staff member offers you a selection of business cards of local installers or maybe they offer an installation service but can’t quantify the price.

So now you collect whatever it was you purchased, take it home but have to wait for someone to call you to arrange a service measure and quote which, if you accept will then entail further delay waiting for someone to arrange the actual installation.

Remember that point about consumers wanting companies to value their time? Whilst the customer’s journey might have started well, there has already been several missteps in this journey and the likelihood of retaining this consumer as a customer is greatly diminished. Oh, and no-one has even started pulling up carpet or pulling down lights yet – this has plenty of opportunity to get way worse for all parties.

In the connected digital age, what consumers want is to know that services are easy to schedule with an agreed price for a given scope, no surprises and delivered on a timeline that is convenient to the consumer.

How difficult can that be? Immensely apparently.

At Beehiive Software, we take a different approach. Born out of a requirement from our sister companies to deliver cost effective, streamlined and efficient trade services, we take the pain out of this process.

Let’s re-imagine our consumer journey …

You go online or into the store, or both if you want, identify the product you would like to purchase and after answering a few carefully guided questions receive an agreed scope of work at an agreed price. Upon accepting the quotation, the product is dispatched and shipped to your home, the installer contacts you to arrange installation at a mutually convenient time and, upon completion you are asked for your feedback on the process.

Throughout the journey, everyone is updated – the consumer, the installer and business managers. If there are any delays due to constrained product, these are identified, escalated and all parties are notified.

By putting the consumer's time first, the overall experience is better, the customer feels valued and much more likely to remain loyal to a brand. The prospects of doing future business or having word of mouth (more likely positive social media) referrals are increased, and companies become more highly differentiated.

How difficult can that be? Not at all as it turns out. – “Holy Beehiive, Batman!”

Acknowledgements to Eptica, PWC, Forrester Research and Gartner Group.

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