Customer Behaviours: trends and future predictions


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Customer behaviours are changing and our clients are all asking us: ‘How are customer behaviours changing, and what does our business need to do to respond to their needs now and in the future?

We examine current customer behaviour and identify what businesses need to do to keep up – and exceed customer expectations in the future.

In the last 12 months, Customer Behaviour has become a hot topic for Chief Executives, customer experience directors and the wider customer service industry. But why? The answer is simple. Consumers are expecting more from businesses and we need to understand their behaviours to meet these new needs.

More access = new expectations.

A recent study by CEC suggests that while customers exhibit different behaviours at different times, they can generally be segmented into four groups.

Customer Behaviours: trends and future predictionsCustomer Behaviours: trends and future predictions


We discovered that key driver behind customer behavior was the level of effort that a customer would expend to learn about products and services, so that problems could be solved and long term optimal solutions could be created. If we can make educating and solving problems, simpler and easier for the customer, we create ’empowered optimisers’. Our research showed that the potential for advocacy, retention and up/cross-sell increases significantly as a customer transitions towards an optimised experience. Conversely, customers exhibiting ‘autopilot’ tendencies showed significantly less engagement with the business. In today’s competitive market, this is the behavioral group most likely to jump ship to a competitor.

How can we understand and engage better with the customer?

This depends on your business of course, but research suggests that engagement improves when businesses:

* Understand the customer: ensure that your customer strategy and customer journey is underpinned by a strong understanding of your customer’s behaviours and their needs.

* Make channels indistinguishable from one another: move from a multi-channel strategy with multiple but often unconnected customer contact points to connected experiences between retail, call centres and digital channels. This is incredibly effective for creating a service ‘optimised’ for the customers’ requirements.

* Give the customer a choice: give customers the option to find the information when they want, and in a manner of their own choosing. (But make this process seamless so they get the same information from each location, whether it’s on the phone, in store or via a google search)

* Recognise that a customer’s time is valued: identify ways how the customers ‘negative time’ can be cut down so the customer spends only ‘positive’ time with your business.

At CEC, we’re always striving to help our clients understand their customers better. We believe it’s important to understand where your customers sit within the four behaviours model in order than you can create a strategy to drive them towards becoming more optimised and engaged. If you would like to find out more about how we can help assess your customer behaviours, please get in touch at [email protected]

Erin Gordon
Erin Gordon is an experienced marketing and customer experience professional. She has worked in a number of different industries across Europe and Australia and is now based at leading management and design consultany, The Customer Experience Company, in Sydney Australia.


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