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The 21st century is all about the customer, are you?

By Michelle Post

The 21st century is all about the customer, and we can say thank you to the internet and social media for this. Never has there been a time that a customer can express his or her emotions so easily and often. Therefore, the question then becomes, “Are you, aka your business, all about the customer?”

What does the 21st-century consumer look like? According to Senion, a 21st-century consumer is “experiential instead of transactional; social instead of individual; customization instead of conformity; speed instead of price; and omnichannel instead of single/multichannel.” So, what does this mean for your business?

“Dissatisfied customers typically share their experience with 8 to 10 people.” – Optimon

Here are seven strategies to help ensure your business is all about the 21st-century customer:

1.  Know who you are serving – It is no longer who you are selling to, but who you are serving. When we think of serving as opposed to selling, it is a different mindset. A business must earn revenues; however, earning loyal customers is more valuable in the long-term.
2.  Be a Person-to-Person (P2P) business – Human contact is still the best way to serve customers. It is easy to substitute technology when interacting with customers, but make it a point to interact as well.
3.  Be a listener – There are so many ways to listen to customers (i.e., reviews, comments, emails, texts, chats, and more). Pick one or two ways to listen, and more importantly, engage with them.
4.  Be proactive – Ask your customers what they need or want.
5.  Seek feedback – Again, ask your customers what worked well and where do you need to improve. Don’t fear the feedback.
6.  Make it memorable – Make every customer experience unique and memorable.
7.  Be thankful – Use creative ways to say thank you to your customers. Send a handwritten thank you note, a personal email, a phone call, or a shoutout on social media.



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