I look at my past and present habits and interests. I used to read paper books with great interest. Now, I only read e-books for I can add notes, highlight important ideas, and save them for later use. Illustrations in e-books are often interactive and timely. We may easily edit e-books and keep them up-to-date. My habit of reading evolved.
Driving with no maps or paper maps now, I use GPS. I had to be very attentive to road risks and depended much on my luck with the weather. Now, I have gauges to tell me instantaneously what is the weather like, which roads are slippery, which roads are crowded to avoid, and safety measures to use such as the airbag rear camera and gauges to warn me if my car runs into a problem. The risks of the past changed because of risky drivers messaging while driving or speeding on expressways. The nature of risks evolved and so is my driving.
Not only our driving evolved, but also what drives customers to businesses. Customers have much higher expectations than before. They want delivery to their places, instant food and service and the customers became even more demanding.
Customers have access to the internet where they may compare offers, do virtual visits to shops, read what customers complain about a product or service, and have their bags filled full of choices.
The influence of advertisement slipped away as customers believe customers more than business. A customer can ruin a business with a complaint that goes viral. The customer is not payer the payer anymore. Customers have the upper hand and attracting them and keeping their loyalty are far more difficult than any time before.
Customers of today need fast information. No, more they listen to long songs or speeches. They want information in a capsule- easy to take and swallow. They give few seconds to either decide to care for your offer or just move to another.
Customers have evolved. Businesses need to move faster by predicting the emerging patterns of customers predict their wants and needs and have ready solutions for them.
Businesses that do not evolve faster than customers do shall perish.
Changing patterns of customer behavior are the gauges to drive a business to success.
One prominent change is the increasing customers’ tendency to buy services rather than products. Instead of buying software, the customers tend to buy the services the software offers. Services are much subject to reputation and hence a complaining customer might harm a business beyond imagination.
The above discussion points to the need for businesses to have early indicators to detect emerging complaints and solve them before their widespread in no time.
New concerns for customers are a basic need- that is security. Security of use, of confidentiality of personal data, of hackers, of cheating businesses and fake offers, and hijacking their privacy and money are few examples.
The Covid-19 disaster enhanced this need for security. Businesses not only suffer from less attention of customers visiting their brick and mortar shops but also even suffered a bigger blow because of the fear customers have to catch the virus in crowded places.
Businesses that found creative solutions to reduce this worry for customers suffered far less than those businesses that did not. Creativity for businesses in finding solutions to emerging problems fast has won over their less creative competitors.
The increasing tendency of customers to shop online also associated itself with increasing security demands for paying customers of releasing their identity and paying details. Again, security is a paramount factor that businesses should address at all times.
The key to success in a complex world is finding the emerging patterns and even predicting them before they emerge.
It is predicting the needs and wants of customers that relate to their new behavioral patterns.
In an age of increasing complexity, the paradox is businesses have to better their predictions of human behavior.
Business is getting tougher. They have to evolve to meet the unpredictable emerging behaviors.
Businesses have to evolve faster than customers do.