I recently sat in on a webinar that Brian Solis, Digital Analyst and Principal at Altimeter Group and Nick Stein, SVP of Marketing Vision Critical gave based off of Brian’s book, “What’s the Future of Business? Changing the way businesses create customer experiences.”
Brian believes there has been a shift in customers’ expectations and there is no doubt that consumers are becoming increasingly empowered, demanding and impatient as a result of social media and technology.
Solis feels brands are just pushing out stories and measuring engagement. Companies need to move from monologue to dialogue. Moving from monologue to dialogue means amending the way we think and interact with customers. Conversation shouldn’t begin with putting content into a content calendar and then posting it on a social channel, just to wait and see if the audience shares or comments. That content should be part of an architected customer experience.
According to Solis, there are two types of customers: traditional and connected. Digital natives are more intuitive than traditional customers who have to think about things. He calls it “Generation C.” Generation C is always on. Brian said, “We are now trying to connect with an audience of audiences. We need to remember that people who live a digital lifestyle aren’t like other customers.” His example of a teenager reminded me of that. A study showed that six minutes is the average timeframe a teenager can concentrate on homework before switching to a tech distraction. (But teens aren’t the only people who are multitaskers–namely, the digital mother.) I think this is true of many digital natives. Building a great customer experience for this distracted consumer versus a traditional customer is a very different path. And architecting that experience is critical.
The moment of truth has changed. It can happen anywhere today– even in an app or on a social network. People are using social sites as search engines. And they are building shared experiences. Those shared experiences are the consumer’s “Ultimate Moment of Truth” and they leave behind a discoverable digital footprint of content that becomes the next consumer’s Zero Moment of Truth.