People power

The ability to understand customers, spot changes in their behavior and adapt quickly to new consumer trends is fundamental to the success of any business. Today, however, organizations face a tougher challenge than ever when it comes to understanding consumers. The internet and, particularly, the rise of social media have empowered consumers more than ever before.

A recent Ernst and Young report, This time it is personal: from consumer to co-creator, presents the results of an online survey to identify some of the changes in consumers’ purchasing activities, preferences and perceptions across 10 different product and service industries. With three million data points used to draw conclusions, the survey offers an unparalleled level of insight into consumer behavior.

In a world in which individuals can use social media to communicate pleasure or displeasure instantly, consumers have become unpaid brand ambassadors.

Click here to use the customer survey tool to build your own consumer profile.

The implications for business are clear: in order to flourish, many companies will have to look again at the manner in which they communicate or interact with consumers.

To create loyalty, brand is now more important than ever, and that brand is intrinsically linked with the customer experience that companies provide. In a world in which individuals can use social media to instantly communicate pleasure or displeasure, consumers have become unpaid brand ambassadors. It is essential, then, for customer service to be flawless.

Consumers today expect to be able to exert a more tangible influence on companies than before, moving beyond the role of purchaser and toward that of co-creator. Organizations that engage proactively and collaboratively with customers will be able to devise more effective product development strategies, as well as fostering feelings of ownership among consumers and, therefore, increasing their loyalty to the brand.

The article examines examples of two companies with operations in the Middle East – Jumeirah Group and Dubizzle. Both case studies show how customer relationships today are more complex, but potentially more rewarding, than in the past.

The complete article was written by:

  • Ross Maclean
    Customer Advisory Leader, Middle East and North Africa, Ernst & Young, United Arab Emirates

Read the full case studypdf1.67 MB

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