Everyone expects it all, instantly

Within a digital era when the best way to find out something is to hit google, or to tell a friend you are thinking of them is to send a snapchat, it can be hard to meet rising expectations. The faster the internet evolves at incredible speed, more emphasis is placed on the ‘now’ and there is little room for anything else in a society that is always switched on (evident through the internet minute).

Everyone really does expect it all, but in particular Generation Z, an audience that has grown up with constant updates, multi-screening and a world run by technology. Companies are competing with life itself to get the attention of Generation Z, with around 92% of this audience having a digital footprint. This digital world allows this audience to make their closest relationships – platonic or romantic – with hundreds of apps available for just this purpose. And let’s not forget, Generation Z probably do not remember a time without social media; making them the first true digital natives.

This ‘always on’ environment that has been created ultimately means that it is hard for brands to meet the rising customer expectations set by the best of the internet. Customers want an easy and frictionless experience, and if they don’t, they will find another website or app that will provide this. Forbes (2017) found that;

  • 76% of consumers expect organisations to understand their individual needs
  • 81% of consumers demand improved response time

The gap between expectation and reality is enlarging every year and even these statistics alone may have risen for 2018. The demand for personalised experiences is being driven by Generation Z as there is a ‘need’ to feel unique. Some brands have single handedly raised the bar for customer experience which has meant that customers now take for granted that a company will know and understand their individual needs. For example, ASOS now knows the kind of clothes I am likely to buy, so presents me with tailored options, alongside a gift voucher – but why can’t I get this service with every brand?

It is apparent that individual experiences are one way to meet customer demands alongside other brand strategies such as creating an emotional impression, being responsive and proactive. However, brands also need to be authentic to compete in a very noisy market place. 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support (Stackla, 2017). It can be a tricky business trying to navigate the latest means of meeting customer expectations whilst also being genuine. Yet, some brands are able to strike the right balance and these are the brands that are at the forefront of consumers (in particular Generation Z) minds.