Characteristics of the Commercial World that Impact on Customer Management

· · Competition is global and exploding

· · Numbers of products and services are multiplying and their lifespans are shrinking

· · Markets are shattering into thousands of niches

· · Distribution channels are increasingly chaotic, and this is complicating customer communications

· · There is continual re-organisation of organisations to develop better business practices

· · Competition and market chaos means that research is less reliable and firm predictions foolhardy

· · Customers are becoming better informed and educated

· · Customers are more demanding and less interested in commodity products

· · Increasingly, competition is coming from non-traditional sources, ie outside your own industry

· · Researching emotional responses of customers is becoming more common. Some examples,

- banks are exploring data about spending patterns, eg entertainment v. fuel usage

- use of psychology to dictate decisions, ie evaluate your emotional state before determining whether to go shopping or not

- smart fridges that understand when you are over eating and lock their door

- consumer backlash against short-term, ephemeral products in favour of products that have some meaning/contexts/substance/medium to long-term benefits, etc, eg a sandal designed in Kenya that expands as the child's foot grows


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