As a CX practitioner, I continue to see how technology ushers in disruptions across retail and other B2C service industries, but I want you to remember that customer behavior is the actual impetus for these disruptions.
I thought this concept would be worth briefly discussing (and revisiting), especially as I came across NJ Goldston’s, 5 Strategies on How to Stay Ahead of Customer-Driven Disruption on Forbes. In her article, NJ quotes author, Suman Sarkar, who said that “disruption is, in fact, driven by changing customers needs — and that only those companies that truly understand their customers can succeed.” I and my colleagues have our own case studies that support this notion.
Customer Behaviors Are Disrupting Your Business
In fact, Thales Teixeira, a former Lumry Family Associate Professor at the Harvard Business School, recently spoke with me about this topic on my podcast. Thales shares that market disruption happens mostly during the process of buying products and services. Consumers want options and convenience, and as providers, you have to step up to the challenge to provide this for them.
These specific needs are why Walmart has instituted 2-day shipping on qualified orders to compete with Amazon Prime, it’s why Starbucks has an app for loyalty reward points and offers the ability to place an order for your drink before you step foot into the store. In my conversation with Thales, he points out the ways companies can focus on increasing value for their customers. As a CX leader, you need to figure out which of your company’s behaviors are value-creating or value-eroding. You’ll want to start by fully understanding the steps involved in your customers’ journey.
Determine How to Accommodate Your Customers’ Needs
Additionally, as a CX leader, you need to have a good understanding of who your customers are. In NJ’s Forbes article, she shares another notion from Sarkar, that “millennials and Generation Z approach the world and the marketplace in very different ways — influenced by peer reviews, driven by the desire for personalized products and service, and unwilling to delay gratification.” Your audiences may have different approaches but expect the same end result. You will have to think through how to create seamless experiences that benefit your range of audiences.
In my conversation with Thales, he reminds us that “that whatever you do, you start with the customer first because they are making the decision that will disrupt markets or not.” I definitely encourage you to listen to the podcast and read the show notes to learn strategies to help you adapt to this behavior that will continue to impact your business for years to come.