Lights and Technology
06 February 2023

"There's no point in being able to sell a certain product if you can't build customer loyalty,"

It has never been more important for companies to increasingly orient their products and services towards the consumer experience.

By Rodolfo Pereira, Enterprise Solutions Director at Noesis

Executive Digest spoke with Rodolfo Pereira, Enterprise Solutions Director of Noesis, an Information Technology consultant, about the importance of the consumer in business and how to direct to this goal in a new year.

How important is the consumer to business in 2023?

The role of the consumer in the business world is becoming increasingly vital as we progress into 2023. Advancements in technology have played a significant role in shaping the consumer landscape, leading to greater exposure and online interaction. As a result, consumer habits have undergone fundamental transformations, with consumer expectations pivoting towards brands that offer more value.

Today, consumers have access to an abundance of information, giving them more power and influence in the buying process. This shift in power has resulted in a greater demand for brands to focus on enhancing consumer experiences to remain competitive. By prioritizing consumers and shaping business strategies around their needs and demands, businesses can stay ahead in a fiercely competitive market.

Overall, consumers play an essential role in driving the success of businesses in 2023 and beyond. As such, businesses must take a customer-centric approach to remain relevant and thrive in the age of the customer. At the same time, the complex geopolitical and economic scenario, which is expected for 2023, which affects both B2B and B2C customers, is one of the major factors for brands to continue to innovate and bet on the experience of their customers. Not only to counter the trend of reducing the frequency of purchase and physical interactions, but also to provide experiences that allow them to develop long-lasting bonds with their consumers.

Digital transformation is centered around enhancing people's experiences. As such, cultivating a customer-centric culture is imperative for organizations of all kinds. IDC's projections suggest that by 2023, the customer experience will be the third most significant area of investment in technology. This highlights the urgency with which businesses need to prioritize and invest in enhancing customer experiences.


Is it possible to currently consider selling a product without thinking about the consumer experience and quality of service?

It may be possible, but it is not a sustainable strategy! It is no use for a business to be able to sell a certain product if, in fact, it cannot retain its customers. Without pleasant experience, it is impossible to be loyal. Without loyalty and recurrence, it is not possible to survive. The quality of the service provided and an unblemished experience/journey, from the supply chain to the after-sales, is essential to ensure business continuity.

What is the consequence of bad service?

Poor service means, from the outset, dissatisfied customers, therefore, a direct impact on the business. In addition to the reputational aspects, a negative brand attitude, the breakdown of the relationship between the brand and the consumer, and the loss of competitiveness vis-à-vis competitors. A recent report by PwC on this topic reveals that a business can lose up to a third of its customers after poor service, even if it is a brand appreciated by the customer in question.

How can technology help improve consumer services?

The growing introduction of digitalization in business strategy allows them to access a set of data that allows them to characterize, down to the smallest detail, their consumers, as well as to identify, more effectively, their needs, interests, and, consequently, new opportunities. This premise makes not only the capture of potential consumers more memorable and timelier, but, through integrated tools among themselves, and with the correct treatment and management of the data obtained, from various sources, it is possible to influence both the purchase process and the customer retention process. Integrating, for example, a content management or user experience platform with CRM platforms creates opportunities to explore all points of interaction with customers in a much more effective way. The "secret" lies in being able to "feed" technology with relevant data about the consumer's experience. It is this data that will give relevant insights to managers, so they can improve the entire customer journey and experience.

At the same time, technology also has the power to make the customer's buying journey more immersive, intuitive, and simplified, through the automation and dematerialization of end-to-end processes. And the easier and more streamlined the buying journey, the more conversion there will be.

What factors most influence a person to buy? Quality of product or service?

The purchasing process is increasingly a distinctive element for business and with great weight for decision-making. This is justified both by the increase in online shopping, as well as by the increase in hybrid experiences themselves, which require greater connectivity between the digital and physical channel of each business, which make consumers increasingly value efficiency and speed of service than the design or notoriety of the brand in question. There is no one right answer. Product quality must be the basis of any successful business, assuming this premise, without a doubt that the quality of service, especially the purchase journey, is increasingly important, I would even say, vital!

What innovations can be expected from companies this year that bring them closer to consumers?

The "Phygital" experiences – a concept of using technology to bridge the gap between the digital world and the physical world aims to provide the user with a unique interactive experience – will expand beyond the simple kiosks and applications we see today, to innovative experiences where customers can, for example, use these tools to make big purchases,  like a car or a house. Also, the dematerialization of the purchasing processes is increasingly a trend. Consumers want a journey that allows for new forms of payment, increasingly fast and easy, and fully dematerialized processes. In this field, I can highlight, for example, embedded finance solutions.

It is undeniable that there are times of fragility for Organizations and that, naturally, affect the way companies plan their business, adopting, in turn, an even more cautious stance about investments in 2023. But in most cases, that won't mean canceling your innovation plans, particularly if they can come up with solutions that make them more efficient. Companies will avoid speculative investments and look for tools that will allow them to boost their competitive advantage, both in the short and long term. From a Customer Experience perspective, this may mean investing in consolidating customer service tools to strategically position the operation as a profit generator.

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