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Customer trends in a digital era

  • On March 19, 2018
  • In blog

Customer trends in a digital era

Operating in an ever changing digital environment has completely transformed the way in which brands can operate, and communicate. However, as these digital capabilities have evolved, so have customer expectations.

Customers now want and expect a high quality, personalised service across all platforms and communication outlets at all times. Not only that, but customers have found their voice – no longer are they afraid to speak out, and social media channels have enabled them to become heard across by millions the globe. 


So, how can companies keep up with this extremely high customer service expectation?

Well, the answer to this question lies in the technology trends that are developing every day. Gartner has broken down the trends for 2018 into 10 different topics that all fall under the concept of ‘The Intelligent Digital Mesh’.

This mesh of intelligence (AI), digital (blending real and virtual worlds) and meshing (bringing together all connections across all touch points, devices, people, content, services, business, etc.) is crucial to all business models that want to grow and keep a high standard of customer service and engagement.


Customers are savvy shoppers & value human interaction

A customer in today’s modern marketplace expects to be able to go to a retail store and return the dress they purchased online, no questions asked. Cue the latest buzzword – omnichannel. Yes, that’s right, we’re all becoming omnichannel shoppers, whether we are aware of it or not. Customers constantly flick from desktop to mobile, in store to app, all of which form part of their journey.

Customers are savvy and will shop around, making a bee line to the brands and companies that make their lives easier, whilst providing the best possible customer service. Brands should see these omnichannel journeys and customer service as opportunities to interact, learn and connect with their customer base.

By utilising their data sets, and applying advanced tech solutions to analyse and understand their customer’s behaviour, a brand can gain a single customer-view across all touch-points, devices and social platforms 24/7.


Balance is key

Customers need strong communication and expect a consistent brand experience, across all platforms, be it online or offline. Companies need to focus on balancing digital and physical touch points – a combination of both approaches will be more successful opposed to leaning too heavily on one.

Companies should be careful to not be too data-reliant, but should also take the time to listen to customers. By balancing new technologies such as AI & AR, brands can provide a personal, human or physical interaction through digital channels (just take a look at GoInStore, for a great example on how this can work).  It doesn’t all need to be digital though; more and more brands are reverting back to more traditional routes, such as postal channels, to help communicate with their customer base.

*long live the posty!*


Overall, companies need to be everything to everyone!

That’s a lot of pressure! But with the amazing tech, AI and data analysis that companies are investing in, building and utilising, this level of service is feasible and necessary. Customers are humans, and crave a positive experience across all touch-points, whether that means talking to another person or simplifying their experience with a few clicks of a button. Some great examples of how brands can tackle these demands can be found here.


How Paperplanes are keeping on top of customer trends

Paperplanes’ technology has the power to gain valuable insight into customer journeys, providing brands with accurate views on purchase behaviour or downfalls. With our unique tagging system, marketers can rest assured that their customers will be getting personalised experiences landing directly in their doorstep at exactly the right time without having to spend every hour in the office organising this.

Get in touch today to find out how Programmatic Direct Mail can help you react to customer trends in 2018.


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