For years, salespeople and marketers have been thinking about and planning how to attract the ‘modern consumer’. Naturally, who that consumer is has changed over the years. Millennials were considered a complicated creature, nurtured by their Baby Boomer parents and impacted by the emergence of digital technologies, but not quite digitally native. Then there is Gen Z, a well-educated generation, digitally native with no memory of the world before smartphones.
Just as businesses have started to get a handle on Gen Z, COVID-19 has prematurely bought about the dawn of a new customer persona. Customer 2020 has less to spend, is increasingly driven by digital and cautious about social distancing. More than that, its values and needs have shifted dramatically.
For the first time in a (potentially) lifetime, these consumers feel a loss of control; they crave safety and security as a result. Spending closer to home and ploughing money back into the local economy is now of fundamental importance. They want to support businesses which have demonstrated integrity throughout the crisis and are more willing than ever to build solid relationships with regional independents.
It’s a challenge no-one in the Western world has faced before. While customer influences and attitudes shift usually occur over a period of years, giving businesses time to adapt, this change has taken place in a matter of weeks. To survive, every company, whether an independent café or a multi-national QSR enterprise, must let go of years of gathered customer ‘knowledge’ and accept that what they knew before, may no longer apply.
In its recent report on UK Customer Experience Excellence 2020, KPMG Nunwood stated: “Prior to the start of 2020, customer experience was the only way to differentiate your brand among a sea of sameness. Now the challenge is not just to standout, but to reinvent, innovate and transform.”
How right it is!
The business of 2020 needs to change the experience it has on offer to attract the Customer of 2020. There’s no point sitting tight with the expectation that consumers will return to their old habits tomorrow. Infact, if YouGov data is to be believed, just 9% of the UK population wants to return to its pre-COVID-19 lifestyle.
KPMG Nunwood’s report is detailed and insightful and we would encourage companies to read it in full. However, to summarise a section: the report contains a deep dive into the Connected Enterprise and the eight capabilities it says truly connected business must demonstrate in order to thrive. These, it says, are:
- Insight driven strategies and actions
- Innovative products and services
- Experience centricity by design
- Seamless interactions and ecommerce
- Responsive operations and supply chain
- Aligned and empowered workforce
- Digitally enabled technology architecture
- Integrated partner and alliance ecosystem
In short, businesses should adopt a problem–solving mindset, creating purposeful, technology driven interactions with customers that feed understanding of Customer 2020 and generate responsive, frictionless experience for all stakeholders.
It could be talking directly to QikServe’s technology suite. Our on- and off-premise ordering and payment solutions gather the data operators need to learn about Customer 2020 and facilitate purposeful, contactless interactions between staff and guests. What’s more, they’re agile, robust and responsive to the specific requirements of a business and its audience.
To discover how QikServe can prepare your business to welcome Customer 2020 through its doors, contact firstname.lastname@example.org