"Culture, Consumer Experience, Technology and Typical Indian Business" - A Market of Opportunities
Over the last few years I have been primarily serving Indian Businesses with Technology and Customer Relationship Strategies, here are a few revelations about how consumers and markets are changing in this part of the world.
Not very "long long ago" there were old and traditional companies that enjoyed a kind of monopoly in their respective industry and region, the companies and their brands were established over generations and anyone could predict growth with meticulous precision, nothing could have gone wrong as if a story of "happily ever after". However things changed dramatically over the last few years, the foreign brands invaded and with their 'evil computers and the damn internet' they started enticing customers in unconventional ways.
"You cannot remain a grand master if the rules of the game are changed"
It was quite sudden for the companies to face the heat (although some remain oblivious as the boiling frog story goes). But for most it was a time for "introspection".
So what exactly changed? "Why my customers are walking out to the new store in the neighborhood?" Well they have used the most disruptive marketing tactics, "they have changed customer's expectations."
The consumers learned they deserve much more attention and value than what was being offered to them; they expect the same 'feeling of priority' at every interaction whether it is during marketing or at sales and even after the sales during support services. Further they became accustomed with technology that is interactive and convenient (and again 'evil smartphones').
"You cannot stop customers from Expecting More"
The customers expects to be the one in control, they expect a prompt response to their inquiries and support requests, they expect your sales representative to carry a smile even if they are not buying now. The consumers are experiencing products and services to develop their own perception. And if you have been in business (or have been a consumer) you know how important these perceptions are when it comes to making a decision. The companies are learning their great product also needs a great customer relationship to adapt with these new challenges.
In the good old days if there was an unhappy customer with your 'Okay' kind of service, you could have just ignored him, but now the bugger goes and shouts out loud over internet exaggerating the badness of your product or service. Of course it is an overreaction and you could have easily solved his problem but only if you knew how unhappy he was.
The new invaders know your weakness; they know how to 'tap' into your share of the market. They know about your customers who are glued to computers and they know how to convert them.
However certain Indian businesses have realized the need for change in customer experience and geared up for the challenge ahead, as the survey report from Forrestor shows -
"Forrester's survey data shows that the vast majority of Indian CIOs (87%) consider addressing rising customer expectations and improving customer satisfaction to be their top business priorities. Soaring customer demand is putting pressure on businesses to invest in customer experience (CX) initiatives."