Before the COVID-19 pandemic, a seamlessly connected brand experience was already the expectation of consumers.
Unfortunately, this is where many businesses falter as they build a collection of customer-facing systems and products that are disjointed, complex and frustrating to navigate. During a time of drastic change in consumer-to-business interaction due to the pandemic, companies that do not provide a coherent digital ecosystem experience for their customers are ripe for disruption.
A connected ecosystem seamlessly stitches together physical and digital products and systems into a cohesive experience for users that inherently creates brand loyalty.
Take Google, for example. When you book a flight through Google, this action sends a confirmation to your Gmail account which then automatically creates a Google calendar event. If the flight is delayed, your Google Home is notified, which then triggers Google Maps to recalculate when you need to leave and updates your smart home to turn off your lights and lower your thermostat at the appropriate time. Being a part of the Google connected ecosystem makes seemingly small actions magical and makes it difficult for a consumer to ever want to leave or use a different brand for the same services.
When surveying how many customers intend to stick with Google’s smartphone alone, their customer loyalty rate currently sits at 84%.
On the flip side, companies like Nokia and Blackberry — who are not focusing on connected ecosystems and instead have been focused on physical product innovation — have felt a dramatic decrease in loyalty to their smartphones since 2007, holding less than 4% of the market share combined.
Due to the immediate shifts that needed to happen with how a customer interacts with a company, the pandemic has only magnified the brands that have a solid foundational experience and customer loyalty versus the companies that are struggling to meet the basic needs of their customers. However, “COVID-19 is forcing consumers beyond their preferred brands like never before. Those consumers could emerge from the pandemic with entirely new brand preferences,” according to Forbes. This means brands are in a position to re-envision their customer experience, especially from a digital perspective, at a time when their existing customers need it and potential customers are open to change.
Harness this time to be proactive in evaluating and evolving your customer experience across all your digital properties. Make the changes necessary to promote brand loyalty and adoption from existing and new customers alike.
The COVID-19 pandemic may have sparked this need for immediate change, but the outcome is long term. Organizations may need to make seismic shifts to their customer experiences, though initial steps can be small. Consider evaluating how connected your digital ecosystem is as your foundational step toward improving the customer experience, creating long-lasting loyalty and business growth.
Nerdery’s focused, nimble teams can help you evaluate your suite of digital products and customer journey and create a strategic roadmap to move toward a seamlessly connected experiential ecosystem. Contact us to start a conversation.