Businesses who are not listening to customer feedback are in for a shock.

With an increasingly volatile social landscape helping to fuel decreasing levels of satisfaction, consumers are demanding more from organisations. They are prepared to vote with their feet and take their spending power away from those who don’t listen.

More willing to move away from traditional brand loyalties, consumers have long ditched the kind of allowances they made during COVID and subsequent lockdowns. Almost a third of contact centre leaders told CallMiner’s CX Landscape Report that increased customer impatience was one of their top three challenges.

Changing expectations and behaviours driven by the rise of giants like Amazon and Netflix with their instant, personal and digital propositions now pose competition and have raised the bar for every business – regardless of industry.

It all adds up to mean those yet to harness the power of Voice of Customer are at risk of being left in the dark.

The power of listening and acting on feedback

All of the above means there’s never been a more important time to listen. Acting on what matters most to consumers is what will set brands apart, with the risk that misconceptions and historic views held by businesses looking at old data will only lead to wasted time and resource. Few can afford either of these in the current challenging economic climate.

Brand values and corporate promises will be used as a stick to beat organisations with if they fail to live up to them. The intrinsic link between customer satisfaction and profits, as well as share price, means listening to customers and showing them their feedback in action is now a necessity to efficient, long-term growth.

What was once seen as a ‘nice to have’ is today essential, not just to grow your audience but also to maintain relationships with your existing customers. The Customer Experience industry is reacting to this ever-changing landscape, but businesses must harness the expertise and sophisticated tools now on offer if they don’t want to get left behind.

External factors mean now is the time

Consumer duty has put customer outcomes front and centre in the UK’s financial sector. Industry regulators are asking the question; how do you ensure a whole sector acts in the ‘right’ way for their customers? Amidst pressure on the bottom line some might struggle to balance customer interests with financial goals and meeting targets. But with further regulatory scrutiny predicted to be coming in the years ahead, potentially even becoming part of law, brands who act today and ingrain this thinking in their culture now will safeguard their compliance for tomorrow.

Add to this the growing importance of ethics and ESG as part of consumer purchase consideration, and being more customer-centric is sure to put organisations a step ahead of the competition. 

The Institute of Customer Service describes the ‘strain’ on the ‘economic and social fabric of society’ as a factor in the decline in levels of satisfaction that will continue to put pressure on firms . What your customers wanted, hoped for and were using their spare time to do a few years ago are probably not the same things today. Without listening to their feedback and understanding where they are today, you could be making ill-advised business decisions.

Understanding what it’s like to be in your customer’s shoes also helps understand their purchasing decisions, priorities and behaviours. Money Minds research from Vested & Trajectory earlier this year found:

  • 64% of consumers were still worried about the rising cost of living
  • 40% believed life will be worse for them in 5 years’ time

With this in mind what are you, your product or your service doing to support them with these concerns? How are you building this into your proposition, from acquisition all the way through in-life and into aftercare and retention?

Final thoughts

The customer landscape is changing dramatically and at pace. Those who do not adapt will fall short of increasingly high customer demands, and if you fail to understand your customer then understand you will fail!

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