Study Looks At Pressure On Business Leaders To Meet Rising Customer Expectations

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A study out from Lithium Technologies reveals that 42% of business leaders claim that consumers shame them on social media. This is based on a Harris Poll in April and Mayamong 300 corporate execs who work at companies with revenue of $1 billion or more.

82% of these executives, who are VP level and higher, say their customers have higher expectations compared to three years ago, and 60% say it's hard to please them. 42% indicate that customers use social media to shame them into doing what the consumer wants, the report says.

“The consumer is forever changed,” said Lithium Technologies CEO Rob Tarkoff. “Social media and the rise of non-traditional, web-based entrants into established industries have evolved their expectations. Consumers use digital channels to find and share information, reviews, and insider tips. At the same time, they are using those channels to suggest improvements and sometimes shame brands into solving their problems. Business leaders are taking note of what this means to their image and bottom line—and rushing to find innovative ways to adapt.”

Another interesting finding from the report is that 78% of business leaders think the Internet and consumer app companies are setting a new benchmark for customer experiences.

“Yelp has changed dining experiences and made it possible for everyone to be a food critic," said Tarkoff. "Uber has forever changed urban transportation. Airbnb has pressured the hotel industry. Netflix has changed the way we watch TV. And of course Amazon has changed the rules of retail for every retailer—online or otherwise. Whether a company competes directly with these companies or others like them, the Internet has created a consumer expectation that all companies now must meet.”

65% of those polled cited innovation as one of the top pressures felt from rising consumer expectations, while 58% cited competition with other companies, and 52% cited customer turnover. 30% said slowed revenue growth, 28% said increased amount of discounts their company provides for to customers, and 17% said reduced market share.

“All businesses need to get savvier about responding to the new consumer—and find ways to reap the benefits of digital business while minimizing the negative impacts," said Tarkoff. "The good news our survey showed is that 93% of business leaders say their company is adapting to the digital transformation. But do their approaches have scale and staying power? That is the next big question.”

Via AdWeek

Image via Lithium Technologies

Chris Crum
Chris Crum has been a part of the WebProNews team and the iEntry Network of B2B Publications since 2003. Follow Chris on Twitter, on StumbleUpon, on Pinterest and/or on Google: +Chris Crum.

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