Eight Questions: Consumerization of Services

The consumerization of services-based industries are experiencing broader transformations than other industries. Consumer and stakeholder expectations are rapidly changing due to technology shifts, generational behaviors, digital and other disrupters.

While I have discussed the Voice of the Customer in several articles – the definition of the customer can also be interpreted as employees, shareholders and other influencers. Understanding that concept dynamics shifts and broadens the perspective of the information organizations need to understand and action. Customers should be at the center of strategies and tactics to meet the current and future expectations of this customer base.

Many organizations have addressed the evolving disruptor of big data, but have not been as successful in developing actionable insights. New roles have been established and a proliferation of different C-Level titles to address the holistic view of the customer. Organizations have been able to break down analytics into different segments, but few have the ability to build the data and actionable insights into narratives and themes that address the future expectations of the customer. These future expectations can be segmented with target audience to make more informed business, marketing, investments and risk decisions. It is about truly understanding a comprehensive customer-level strategy.

Mass marketing is continuing to erode, replaced by more targeted and intimate approaches. It is coming down to the individual customer, personalization is the foundation of modern marketing diversifies media mix to drive authenticity of brand experiences. The answer to the question of how to best connect with customers is simple, focus on developing programs that build long term engagement, conversations and loyalty, rather than a commoditized transaction.

As digital continues to become more pervasive across marketing, business operations and advertising leadership’s digital fluency needs to become proficient across these evolving digital competencies. The customer first approach will blend with the understanding of customers’ expectations with the trends on the fringe of traditional and digital.

Creating a responsive organization, Questions & Considerations:

  • Customer Readiness – How is your organization primed to address current and evolving expectations for your customers?
  • Holistic view of the Customer – Do you have a holistic approach of gathering insights around the voice of your customers – segments, audiences?
  • Own the Conversations – What conversations do you need to own based on understanding the expectations (current and future) of your customer base (segments)
  • Balanced Scorecard – Consider developing a scorecard of KPIs and metrics that measures outcomes and impact of brand strategy, segmentation analysis, marketing effectiveness, digital, media mix and communications.
  • Emerging Trends – Identify the current and emerging trends of your current customers. What are the trends occurring on the fringes and what are the impacts to customers
  • Who are you future customers – what expectations do they have and what is the organizations strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats in meeting those expectations?
  • Long View – Map out your “customer segment journeys”, and then reimagine then use digital to change the expectations.
  • Connect the Dots through Omni-Channel – How can digital elevate and connect experiences across different platforms and channels?

What other questions should be addressed to drive a responsive organization?

Brian Miske
About the author: 

Working from both New York and Toronto, Brian Miske is the Chief Marketing Officer for KPMG, LLP, a global network of professional firms providing Audit, Tax and Advisory services.  Brian has held executive positions with KPMG, Accenture,  Viacom and Marvel Entertainment.  Follow him on Twitter.