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  • NETMEDIA International

Teleperformance Leader Insights Forum: 6 months to 2 years to take advantage of new consumer habits

Steven Van Belleghem, customer experience specialist, opened the 2021 edition of Teleperformance's Leader Insights Forum. He detailed how companies can leverage the new expectations born out of the health crisis.

"Beyond the virus that has swept across the globe, it is interesting to see how the health crisis has disrupted consumer habits. It also creates a six-month to two-year window of opportunity to capitalize on these new habits," said Steven Van Belleghem, customer experience specialist, during his keynote at Teleperformance's Leader Insights Forum, whose theme for the 2021 edition was "From Survive to Thrive. To seize these opportunities, he said, companies and organizations must consider several fundamental changes in customer experience expectations.

Digital, which a decade ago allowed companies (Amazon, Uber...) to distinguish themselves thanks to a particularly fluid customer experience, is no longer an element of differentiation but rather "a commodity". This is both the basic expectation of customers and the only way for brands to stay in the race on their market! Since the consumer has nowadays "no tolerance" towards the inconveniences linked to digital, the consultant invites brands to "hunt" all the friction points that could degrade the experience: "By looking for all the little details that can cause problems and make the consumer or user lose time. By trying to solve them one by one, a customer culture will develop within the teams. Consumers will be satisfied and, internally, projects will move forward more quickly."

This attention to the consumer also benefits the innovation policy: "80% of new products are failures. The way we've been launching new products for 40 years is a disaster because we don't involve the consumer enough. Innovation teams need to listen to consumers without aligning themselves with everything they ask for, involve them more to find out what they dream of and then launch engineers on products that will come close to that dream. Otherwise, the brand does not add value in the market," says Steven Van Belleghem.

Becoming life partners

While price and digital experience are no longer sufficient elements of differentiation, brands can position themselves as "life partners" for consumers: "Becoming a life partner implies adding an emotional dimension to their daily lives. This implies understanding the human being behind the consumer, his dreams, his hopes, his ambitions...", he explains. Many companies focus on seizing every sales opportunity but "forget that you have to earn that opportunity" by making yourself really useful to the consumer, by making his life easier or by saving him time. In this long-term vision, he also points out the importance for brands to take into account and integrate into their business model the societal issues that matter to consumers.

Steven Van Belleghem invites brands to take action: "It is no longer time to discuss how to reinvent themselves, but to act quickly to see how they can bring value to people, to their customers as well as to their employees. Then they can have a real impact on the market and for people in general," he concluded.

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