*By Vivian Jones

The attention given to consumers has changed a lot in recent years. We went through times when productivity was all that mattered, mass production, with the aim of reaching more people, dictated the business strategy. We have seen times when there was the illusion that product quality could solve all relationship, sales, etc. problems. We live in a time when “the customer was always right”, in an attempt to value the customer more, but still without understanding them very well, and without really understanding what “being right” means.

We also establish consumer rights, dedicate days to them and entire seasons of the year dedicated to promotional actions and aggressive strategy, such as Consumer Month. We better understand our duties as brands. But only more recently are we “getting there!”

Today we are able to better understand customers' desires, personalize relationships on a large scale, opening doors for any brand to create unique and engaging experiences that were previously characteristics only found in much more personal and rare relationships.

The motivating factors for this progress are advances in technology and communication, which have recently taken another leap forward with the revolution in generative artificial intelligence. In addition, we are also counting on the growth of the audience on social networks and messaging applications, in addition to the implementation of omnichannel as a strategy. Today there is a genuine concern among organizations to study their consumers, understand them, and the technology exists to make this a reality in terms of products and relationships.

To give you an example, a Twilio study released last year, the 2023 Customer Engagement Report, found that 66% of consumers say they would abandon a brand if their experience was not personalized; and 86% of consumers say that personalized experiences increase their loyalty to specific brands. The customer knows each other well, and listening to them is what allowed us to understand that they seek more personal, personalized and special relationships with brands.

Engagement has become important for brands, because organizations have understood that strategies and concepts such as customer centricity (or having the customer at the center of their actions) and customer success are more than just differentiators, These are growing demands that dictate the reality of business.

For organizations, the return is much greater when they retain a customer, when their reputation is expanded. Strategies to attract more customers are valid, of course, but focusing on dedicatedly serving the customers you already have has a huge impact.

Customer success has become popular in recent years, but the concept can still be a little nebulous for some. The proposal is to relate with the customer so that they achieve their objectives within the commercial transaction, having a positive experience that ranges from the initial impact of a communication action to post-sales. This is a strategy that focuses on relationships and satisfaction, demanding proactiveness from brands.

Many may confuse this concept a little, as it encompasses others and uses other strategies and tools to be efficient, but, in short, it demands innovation and attention to create enchanting experiences, solve problems in an efficient and loyalty-building way and is also done thinking about what the customer wants and needs, not what the company wants to offer them. The best technology in the world, the most interesting service, the most popular and different means of dialogue are of no use if it doesn't speak to those who are at the center of your business relationships: your customer.

This needs to be clear: prioritizing the customer and personalizing their relationship not only generates satisfaction, but also prepares companies for success, makes them different, wins the consumer's heart and, as a direct consequence, increases the brand's ROI. The impact is not unilateral and is also financial.

Currently, companies have dedicated sectors to take care of customer success, working in an integrated way, but focused on guiding the company's entire strategy. Companies exist to serve different purposes, but all of them are only achieved when the customer is satisfied. Having an area dedicated to studying the market to better serve it is essential.

Through customer success, it is possible to direct strategies to capture new, better and more qualified opportunities, which accelerates sales, expands the customer's life cycle within the company, engages (something essential in the age of communication) and even reduces losses of customers, who start to embrace the brand for reasons that go beyond specific needs, becoming emotionally important.

How about going beyond offers and promotions? How about investing in dialogue? You will be surprised by the gains you can make by getting to know your client well.

*Vivian Jones is vice president of Twilio for Latin America.

Notice: The opinion presented in this article is the responsibility of its author and not of ABES - Brazilian Association of Software Companies

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