We read the results of a couple interesting research projects recently and it got us thinking about an apparent dichotomy faced by every business the world over. Our customers want what they want, when they want it, but are often nervous about giving us what we need in order to actually deliver against their desires.
One brand study, by Edelman, found that 90% of people want companies to more effectively share their brands. Depressingly, the same study showed that only 10% of people think any given brand does it well.
And it’s getting worse. The viral outbreak that is mobile technology are changing the expectations of all customers. Another study on universal commerce offered this quote from a participant which highlights the multiplicity of customer wants: “I want mobile shopping apps to be easy, secure, and very transparent. I want the user interface to be really simple. I want one click to confirm purchase, and I want an electronic receipt in my text or inbox, instantaneously.” That’s a lot of wants – 4 of them to be exact.
In order to deliver what customers want, when and how they want it, businesses need information from the customers they serve. Unfortunately, the customers are often unwilling to share it. In the same study from which the “wanting” customer is quoted above, participants were asked how much information they are willing to give up. Here are a sample of the questions, and the percent of respondents agreeing:
- “I’m willing to share interests/preferences to receive custom offers” – 23%
- “I’m willing to share credit card info on a website for faster checkout” – 19%
- I’m willing to let websites share info about usage to get relevant offers” – 12%
- “Let a company track my location through my mobile phone for deals/discounts” – 10%
The bar is so high and the gap is so wide one wonders if it’s even surmountable at all. But there’s hope.
We have this same problem in our personal relationships as well; we intrinsically want more than we are willing to give. But we have figured out a tried and true way to overcome it. We talk to each other. Yes, in a world overrun with technology the solution is often the most non-technical thing of all – one-on-one communication. But technology doesn’t have to be the enemy here either – it can facilitate communication, and often in ways not possible without technology. From communication comes trust and from trust comes a relationship.
Think not about “how can we get this information from our customers?” Think instead, “how can I maximize the communication I have with customers?” Only then can you both get what you need. And what you want.
To see how BoldChat can facilitate more conversations with an increasingly mobile consumer, read more about our mobile live chat solutions.