Understanding what consumers want – and being able to respond to their needs – will become even more important for businesses over the coming years, a new report has illustrated.
The Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) emphasised how the best performing companies are those that focus on connecting with their customers and using the latest technology to do so.
Aside from the benefits that asking customer survey questions can bring, the group emphasised the need to embrace emerging technologies to stay ahead of the competition.
Particular emphasis was placed on mobile and cloud-based applications, while the use of social media tools and connected products is also emerging among the world's most successful firms.
Companies are urged by the EIU to not only focus on connecting with their customers, but also employees, partners and products to guarantee improved satisfaction.
So who will be responsible for making sure this is the case? The group puts the onus on chief executive officers (CEOs), highlighting that some have so far failed to step up to the mark.
Just under half (47 per cent) of CEO respondents at the highest performing companies said they had taken personal responsibility for the challenges posed by the customer-led economy.
The survey also showed 89 per cent of companies defining themselves as high-performing are trying to take action to inspire greater customer loyalty, while 27 per cent acknowledged this is an area where improvements are needed.
One of the main barriers to success has been a lack of clarity over how a customer-led economy will manifest itself, which 40 per cent of companies identified as being a major issue.
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