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Meet your customers needs in a changing world

Customer-driven businesses have to meet ever more complex expectations, says Steven van Belleghem – but companies can meet the challenges by adopting a trio of strategies.

But being a true life-partner will not suffice. Consumers expect brands to take away their most primal fears (flooding, water shortage) and help solve world problems, too (global warming). They are fed up with the trade-off: they don’t want to choose between convenience, privacy, saving time, their dreams or doing what’s good for the planet. They want it all. Many companies have already started projects aimed at making the world a better place. It’s encouraging to see how investments in sustainability and social projects, among others, have risen sharply over the past decade.Organisations that manage to get consumers to join a movement to save the world in some small way will add an extra layer to their customer relationship and make themselves less forgettable in the process. It’s time to start thinking about how you can join that movement.

Companies that manage to combine these three strategies, in a balanced way, will be the ones to create a product, or service, offering something the customer will love. In fact, it will become “an offer you can’t refuse” – the well-known line from The Godfather. And I believe that this combination of transactional perfection, helping realise people’s dreams and personal ambitions while helping to solve a global problem, will become the norm in the next decade.