How leading businesses are using a blueprint to decipher customer mindset and prevent churn
Take a moment to consider how you used to shop. Before our New Normal you may have put some effort into determining whether a certain product was organic, or sustainable. Perhaps you thought about whether something was defined as a luxury item, or whether a service could be personalised in some way. If you were in a store then it may have been a lingering experience.
It’s different now, isn’t it?
Now you’re probably more interested in availability, price and matters relating to health-and-wellness. If you’re in a store then you’re looking without touching, preferring local and leaning towards brands that create confidence. And then you’re leaving. Less of what you love, and more of what you need.
We can’t un-live these times, and your new context has led you to redefine value and change your mindset, perhaps subconsciously. But can we really comment on mindset?
Google search trends are always enlightening1. Personal well-being has become a focus, with “online therapy” searches growing 100%. Simplicity has become a lifeline as we balance work and leisure with limited resources. This is shown in searches for “easy”, “step-by-step” and “for beginners” being up 60%. Consumers are now more self-empowered and creative, with DIY and recipe searches seeing a huge spike. All these shifts affect buying behaviour, and these ‘trends’ may be here to stay.
Our need for simplicity, driven by financial concerns and safety, has resulted in our consumption becoming more conscious (according to Accenture2) – we’re slashing unneeded services, buying local and limiting waste. We’re more focused on the basics and, of course, we’ve migrated online expecting that service providers will meet us there. Where they’re not, the young disruptors are capturing our imagination and our cash. Behaviour follows mindset.
But what’s really driving the behaviour changes?
Below the surface…
While conscious buying and personal well-being sound like honorable pursuits, the unfortunate truth is that they’re often being driven by fear and anxiety. Much of this comes from perceptions of financial instability, and this is manifesting in cuts in spending and spending frequency. And it won’t change soon.
According to an EY study3, consumers say it’ll be months or years before they’re comfortable catching a flight or using an in-store changing room again. Consumers have geared themselves up to live more risk-averse lives and businesses need to understand and respond to this context if they ever hope to regain what’s been lost.
A framework for response
The rules of engagement have changed and we’ve seen that businesses need a response blueprint in order to succeed in this new reality. Businesses are looking for ways to regain what’s been lost and customer retention has moved to centre stage.
At the same time, consumers are looking for ways to lighten the load, while balancing work, schooling and leisure with limited resources. Context is everything and any response needs to be passed through the reality of today’s customer mindset. Brands clearly need a blueprint for responding to the new customer value system at the correct points of their journeys.
In what ways should an effective and appropriate response blueprint empower business?
The CX professional will want to listen differently – holistically, throughout the customers’ journeys. We’ve seen that businesses need methods for connecting the dots between what customers are saying and what they’re doing. Rather than individual moments in time and isolated experiences, business people need to expose and understand end-to-end customer journeys. Why do customers drop away when they do, and how are the feeling when that happens? Why does a certain sequence of touchpoints often result in churn? With customer journeys and sentiment exposed, the CX professional will certainly want to develop interventions and nudges that are contextual and authentic, acknowledging emotion and offering a voice of comfort. We offer our product, but we also need to offer hope.
Also importantly, the CX professional needs to level up their own roles and abilities so that they can survive and thrive while addressing the new customer mindset. This is an important part of a response blueprint.
Take the next step
At inQuba, we’ve noted the limitations of current methods, and we’ve been developing a blueprint to reinvent CX for several years. The foundation for a comprehensive blueprint is Customer Journey Management and we invited international guest speakers to share this blueprint during the Level Up CX Summit.