How the customer relationship is changing in 2016

Several years ago, the relationship between a company and its potential customers was very different from what it is today. There was much less information available online and customers had to rely on a company for information about their products and services. This gave power to the company, which at the time held all the power. Because of the scarcity of information, customers were more likely to seek help from a business when they needed product reviews, and they were more likely to trust the business. With the rise of the Internet and the increased availability of information in all forms of media, customers have become less dependent on companies for information.

Here are some ways the customer relationship has changed.

1. Customers no longer rely on salespeople for all information

Years ago, customers would typically contact a company if they wanted more information about their product. Today, most of this information can be found online at third-party websites. The value of finding information online, as many customers realize, is that the information is less biased than if they received it directly from the company they want to buy from.

2. Salespeople make a greater effort to connect with customers

Customer service is much more appreciated than before. Where once a bonus, customer service is now expected. Often, a company’s ability to satisfy a customer depends more on the service and support it provides than on the product.

3. The need for good customer service has been increased

Because it is now expected, sellers are placing more emphasis on customer service. Customer service begins before the sale even begins. Delivering customer value through content marketing can help you build trust.

4. Customer retention is becoming increasingly important

There is more competition between companies and therefore it is more difficult to retain customers. With more competitors vying for the same customer base, customer retention is more difficult than before.

5. Outgoing techniques are less effective

Customer service is more important, and that doesn’t just apply to after-sales. Even before the transaction is concluded, customers take into account the character and behavior of the company. A company that annoys them with cold calls may seem aggressive or boring. On the other hand, if you can offer your prospects valuable content, they will favor you over companies that put energy into outbound.

6. Inbound content marketing is getting more powerful

As outbound branding becomes less effective, inbound is driving the future of marketing. Communicating with customers is more than talking to them on the phone. What customers are receptive to is different than before. Customers want value and they want a professional view. If a customer feels like you care about them and understand their business, they’ll be more likely to do business with you. Inbound marketing is a great way to do this.

7. Solicitation has a different meaning

The solicitation comes in a different package. Rather than cold calls, cold emails, and snail mail, you can reach your target audience by providing relevant value and following up to show your interest.

Also on Forbes:

Joseph P. Harris