Crossing Europe to immerse ourselves in what the future holds, trend spotting and making new connections
2018 saw the Conductor team packing their bags and jetting across Europe. We flew to Cannes for MIPIM, Lisbon for the Web Summit and then off to Milan for the Class of 2020.
In a world of fake news and celebrity endorsement, customers are seeking one simple thing – trust. This was one of our biggest takeaways from the 2018 Web Summit.
Whether customers are purchasing, renting, working, learning, playing, shopping or reflecting in a space, curating their positive experience is a key component for business success, and here’s how;
Curate the customer experience
As we sit in the midst of the digital revolution it’s easy for businesses to get caught up in the next big thing. ‘I need an app for this’ or ‘we should be using this platform’ are phrases we hear all too often at Conductor, but you have to ask yourself the question ‘is it right for my customer?’ The customer experience (CX) should lead your decision-making, it helps to ensure you provide your clients with the best solutions to enable superb customer service. As David Rusenko, founder of Weebly put it “you’re never too small to think about customer experience”.
Don’t underestimate the importance of consumer endorsement
This point becomes all the more relevant when considered alongside the results of SurveyMonkey’s recent analysis into consumer trust which states that 82% of customers trust other customers over the brand itself.
Consider how many times you will Google a brand, product or person before making your decision to purchase from them. The old rule ‘there’s no such thing as bad publicity’ doesn’t apply to customer ratings.
The value of endorsement from your customers is therefore vital and it won’t come from your product alone.
Customer experience needs to cover all touchpoints, your customers need to have a consistently ‘good’ experience throughout every interaction with your brand and at every stage of the customer journey, from posts on social media through to visits to a physical space.
Power is now in the hands of the consumer, and with multiple on and offline platforms and channels garnering feedback every day – businesses need to try harder than ever to combat negative experiences and feedback.
The human touch
With bots and platforms serving every one of life’s requirements, there was much talk in Lisbon around the need to introduce the ‘human touch’ far sooner than many companies think. While ‘automating the tedious’ is beneficial to the business, having a helping hand from a human is crucial. At the end of the day, we all want to go away feeling like the brands we interact with care about us.
The Web Summit solidified our opinion – the days are numbered for brands relying solely on consumers staying loyal due to their visual identity. Brand loyalty stems from the experience customers receive, not on the hot celeb in the ad campaign.
Don’t rely solely on customer archetypes
A human-centric approach is what’s required for building both trust and brand equity, but the reality is there is no longer such a thing as an ‘archetypical customer’. Customer needs vary depending on time and context. And with today’s technologies, businesses now have the ability to see and act on these fluctuations in the moment. Customers are increasingly expecting all companies to do just that, both in their marketing efforts and in the experiences they offer.
How to build trust
To become a human-led business, companies should expand their thinking to include the following:
1. Purpose: Customers should feel that the company shares and advances their values.
2. Pride: Customers should feel proud and inspired to use the company’s products and services.
3. Partnership: Customers should feel the company relates to and works well with them.
4. Protection: Customers should feel secure when doing business with the company.
5. Personalisation: Customers should feel their experiences with the company are continuously tailored to their wants, needs, and priorities.
These five characteristics form a simple and comprehensive test of relevance. The first four extend from the top to the bottom of the psychological hierarchy — from what Maslow called “self-actualisation” or fulfilling your full potential. The fifth, personalisation, enables companies to connect with customers around any of these needs.
Knowing your customers is crucial to achieving this. – know your customer and provide them with an amazing experience and the rewards will follow.
CONDUCTOR TREND SPOT: CO-LIVING
Following the Web Summit, Conductor founder Charlotte Steedman flew to Milan to participate on the judging panel and present the awards for Best in Class Student at the Class of 2020 with Jorick Beijer. One of the winners, The Student Hotel, showed a fantastic example of co-living, and the ability to really engage with their local community to help prepare students for their future in the “real world”.
Check them out..
WHERE YOU’LL FIND US NEXT…
Where to next for the Conductor team? Cannes! Conductor will be heading to the South of France to MIPIM this March. Connect with Charlotte if you’re going to be there too.