You get out of your house, you go to your favorite corner coffee shop and you order a short latte with a dollop of whipped coconut cream and brown sugar. In other words, your order is tailored to your preferences. Exactly the same personalization all online brands are trying to offer to their customers. Why? Gone are the days of building highly successful online brands through great products alone.
What is personalization some of you might ask? Well, personalization in the tech world is when an app, or piece of software adapts itself based on the knowledge it already has about the user, without one having to put much effort at all. It just happens. Take music stream apps for example. Based on your searches, songs streamed the most, singers you follow, are in place to predict and suggest songs you might like to listen to.
“Gone are the days of building highly successful online brands through great products alone”
No, that is not another tech heavy article explaining how data are stored and how algorithms are written in order to predict likelihood of interest and preferences. Instead, we will focus on the power of customers, their needs and how nowadays customers define brand strategies. It took a while but finally customers are in the center of each brand’s attention out there, or at least the ones that are innovating and thriving.
Customer Centricity…when it all started!
The ancestor of customer centricity is market research. Market research emerged in the 1920s as a way of testing and improving advertising. Psychologists such as Dan Starch and George Gallup advanced the fledgling field of market research through the application of scientific principles. Following the post-WWII consumerism boom, market research began to truly emerge as a field of its own. Rooted in advertising and marketing, demand for market research expanded to almost every sector by the 1970s and by the mid-1980s the concept of customer satisfaction took off. It was then in the early 1990s that the discussion started shifting from customer satisfaction to customer value by Bradley Gale, author of Managing Customer Value. Fast forward to nowadays, it seems a paradox that only a few companies, even after years of digital transformation, have the technological capabilities to create fully-digitised experiences that customers expect. Undoubtedly, COVID-19 has pushed the need for businesses to have a digital presence and consequently to be able to operationalise the data collected from it, which is becoming a make-or-break matter of this era. Consumers are also choosing convenient and easy to use online services. These are now must-have digital transformation efforts that can no longer be avoided. Infact a research conducted by McKinsey found that 36 percent of customers switched at least one product brand since the start of the pandemic and 33 percent switched to a different store or website.
Era of personalization dictates a customer centric culture
Customer-centric brands instead of building products that meet customer needs, invest in technologies that keep customers advocating for the brand. By understanding customer needs when building a product and by understanding how to create products that reduce customer time and effort, brands can shift their focus from product-centric to customer-centric. The most well known example of a product-centric approach is Windows 8. Microsoft unveiled what it believed at the time to be the next big thing, investing into innovative features with the product struggling to gain traction. Customer expectations have changed and will continue to change at an unprecedented velocity that companies cannot control or predict. We have been living in a world where people rely heavily on technology to run their daily chores via their smartphones. Thus, mobile customer experience should be flawless and brands should be in place to predict the needs of their users and make sure to offer them personalized in-app experience. At Beat, committed to providing an amazing customer experience for our users, we revamp the passenger app interface so as to offer a more convenient and effective service selection experience, illustrating the variety of available services and making the discovery and selection of services more intuitive. From now on, passengers will be able to see the variety of suggested services in the form of a list through a seamless user interface. On top of that, labels will indicate the several service categories offered by the app, while by tapping on the labels, passengers will be redirected to the respective list of services. Just make sure to update your current app version! This is merely the beginning of a series of new features that aim to change passengers’ experiences when moving, for the better. Stay tuned!