Customers want, well, a lot. This is according to a new, global survey commissioned by OpenText, including 1,000 respondents from Singapore. It seems that the pandemic has heightened their expectations, and companies need to move now to take advantage, or they will lose market share.
Customers want to be treated as individuals, too, and not like everybody else. So said 71% of Singaporeans, and 66% said they would buy from brands that understood their preferences. 63% said they would not buy from brands that provided a poor customer experience.
That customer expectations are high during and after the pandemic is not surprising, but it does pose a significant challenge for companies.
And these companies, trying to give customers what they want, have extra burdens because of the pandemic itself. Customer service teams are likely working remotely, with all the extra challenges that this brings. The security issues aside, many people were not equipped to work remotely, rearranging furniture, schooling and sanity to keep doing the job.
Against this, customers want more: more personalisation, better-tailored experiences and better service.
An interesting issue from the OpenText research is that customers need individual experiences, yet other research and conversations point to customers who do not want to be tracked. A month ago, Apple had a nervous moment when 36% of iOS users decided they did not want to be tracked. This presented the fundamental problem of providing what customers want when they do not want you to know what they want.
It highlights the conundrum of the age. And the blame must be laid squarely at the feet of big tech companies such as Google and Facebook, who were not honest with their customers.
Providing what customers want requires knowledge of the customer. If companies had been open with them from the start, saying, ‘if you want an individual, tailored, world-class experience, we would like to see what you are doing,’ then most customers would have agreed. That they went behind their backs and made the eye-watering amounts of money that they have simply turns customers off.
Hindsight is obviously a wonderful thing. As illustrated by the OpenText research, the sad fact is that customers demand a wonderful, individual, tailored experience but don’t want to be ‘watched’. All of which just increases the severity of the challenge for brands, both during and after the pandemic.