Is the age of the customer truly bad for business?


The age of the customer is here, customers are more empowered than ever because they know more and expect more. They can get information from anywhere at any time. Primarily the internet has given an abundant amount of information about any and all products and services to the world. On top of that, in the last decade there has been an increase in the amount of devices with which the internet can be accessed and it is still growing rapidly.

While in the past when you’d for instance want to buy a car, you had to go to several showrooms in order to ascertain a fair price to pay. And even then, the question remained whether or not you were paying too much. Nowadays, to decide upon a fair price, there are comparison websites and smartphone applications that can be used. But not only that, but even the amount of money the salesperson would earn on it could be discovered.

Because of this change in the information stream towards the customer it looks like the balance of power has shifted in favor of the customer. But is this actually true?

Not only customers have gained more access to information, but the same has happened for companies, although this is an aspect that rarely gets attention, or at the very least is not pressed enough. With this information, power has come to both sides. For the customers this is apparent in the way described above. But companies can also make use of this new age. Nowadays customer data is more accessible than ever, and with this data comes opportunities. Companies can use this data to target the market of these new market researchers through their information stream. There are plenty of ways to send out information to enhance sales. For companies it has also become easier to see the current prices used by competitors, and can therefore take more advantage of dynamic pricing.

One may therefore wonder whether the age of the customer is really only good for the customer. Although it is undeniable that it is most beneficial for the customer, when companies play their cards right, they can use this to conquer their industry.

What is your view on the Age of the Customer? Is balance certain to shift entirely in the customers favor?

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References:

http://www.thedigitalembassy.co/Blog/The-Age-of-the-Customer-What-does-that-mean-for-today’s-businesses

http://forrester.typepad.com/groundswell/2011/06/welcome-to-the-age-of-the-customer-invest-accordingly.html

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