CUSTOMER CENTRIC: HUMAN VALUE IN ONLINE COMMUNICATION
Publication FEBRAURY 2022 | FRI COMMUNICATION
TODAY, WE ARE ALL LIVING IN A TIME OF CONSTANT CHANGE.
WE ARE WITNESSING AN EPOCH-MAKING TURN THAT GUIDES US UNCEASINGLY TOWARDS A COMPLETELY NEW SYSTEM, REQUIRING THE INTEGRATION OF ONLINE AND OFFLINE COMMUNICATION CHANNELS INTO A SINGLE SOLUTION. THE CONSUMER’S NEW HABITS ARE BLURRING THE BOUNDARY BETWEEN THE PHYSICAL AND DIGITAL WORLDS.
For this reason, it is necessary to identify new channels and redesign strategies, activities, and even customer interactions if a company truly wants to innovate and effectively reach consumers. Today, the world of communication is increasingly “customer-centric,” meaning it revolves around the habits and needs of the consumer. That is why online communication systems are becoming essential to achieve a single goal: entering the dimension of those who make the final choice. A study has revealed that in 2020, 99% of people between the ages of 18 and 24 used a PC (53.2%) or a smartphone (98%) to connect to the internet and browse social media. Considering the total population, data shows that 74% of them connect daily, with a total of 44.658 million online visitors per day. The data demonstrates that Italians use the web for an average of about 2 hours and 43 minutes each day, which is much more time than they spend watching television or listening to the radio.
During these hours, online channels are used not only for information or leisure activities but also as intermediaries in various stages of the purchasing process. This also reflects the intention to experience integrated brand experiences across multiple touchpoints such as the point of sale, e-commerce, company websites, social networks, advertising, and contact centers. This means that consumers, in their relationship with the reference brand, are not seeking a single point of contact but rather desire a relationship established through a multitude of channels that can reach them at any time. Hence, with the increased use of online tools, companies that aim to communicate effectively with consumers must design an omnichannel approach. For many companies, an omnichannel approach is strategic, but only a few are capable of creating new lines and cross-referencing various customer data to ensure an integrated and consistent consumer experience across all touchpoints. It is worth noting that Italian companies have embarked on a path that requires the creation of multiple channels and integrated connection points to allow customers to interact with the company in the best possible way. However, some companies are still far from being able to truly manage consumer relationships, ensuring a consistent customer experience across all channels without interruptions or redundancies in various stages. This leads to internal conflicts and a subsequent need to transform their business models from “product-centric” to “customer-centric” to meet the needs of the modern consumer. The top management’s commitment to omnichannel strategies is reflected in the involvement of multiple organizational functions: Marketing is active in 88% of cases, CRM in 68%, IT in 59%, Communication in 55%, and Sales in 39%. In only 24% of the considered companies, all business units involved exhibit a high level of engagement.
The objectives of an omnichannel strategy are always tangible, as they lead to an increase in sales (indicated by 81% of the companies in the sample) and an improvement in customer acquisition, resulting in increased leads (64%). These objectives can also be perceived as intangible, as they enable personalized communications (62%), improved engagement (59%), and increased loyalty (55%). Objectives related to product and service modification and creation.