Why going to the customer is the next frontier

Be where the customer is. It sounds really obvious, right? But if you think about what we’ve been doing in the world of marketing and customer experience for the last couple decades, the opposite actually happened. We invested our entire marketing budget in luring the customers to us: attracting them to our stores, our events, our websites, our social media channels etc.

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May 25, 2022

Health services to the home

Today, we’re entering a new phase. More and more organizations are building their services around the customer, actually going to them. I find it extremely fascinating to see that the old model is now being turned upside down. Once upon a time, we used to get excited about getting “fibre to the home” (FTTH). Well, today, we’re going to see more and more “services to the home” (STTH).

In the last years, we’ve all seen how Peloton bikes basically brought working out to the comfort of our own house. Peloton customers have a personal virtual trainer, a personal regime and they can work out together with others, all that from the comfort of their own home. And for the past months, I’ve seen more and more companies really working on that.

Tech devices to the home

That’s why I was really excited to get to know Enjoy. This company is completely reinventing retail by bringing the store to the customer. I had the absolute pleasure of interviewing their CEO and founder, Ron Johnson who’s incidentally also the creator of the Apple stores. If you want to hear our conversation, check it on my podcast channelor read the abridged version on my blog. Enjoy actually sends an expert to the customer’s house when they buy a new computer or a phone to explain every detail of that product to them from the comfort of their own home. And that service is completely free. To be clear, this is not a delivery service. The product is not yet bought, and doesn’t even need to be bought. It’s about showing the possibilities of the devices ànd even about setting them up (if they are bought) for people who are less tech savvy. I love Ron’s vision that the next frontier in retail is the home of consumers. And like I said, it’s a customer centric trend that you see surfacing everywhere.

Groceries to the home

Another perfect example is the one of Robomart, a new company that brings the shop to your house. The interface and the approach are similar to Uber. You select what you want to buy, you push a few buttons and then they send a small shopping van to your house, which you can then track to check when it will arrive. Like the good old ice cream trucks of yore, it opens up and you can buy all the goods that you need. Depending on what you requested, they bring healthcare products, cleaning products for your home, day to day groceries etc.

Not just physical

This trend is not just happening in the physical world, though. If you look at the whole evolution of VR, for instance: with the Oculus Quest 2, you have multiple options to do workouts from your home or from your hotel room or from wherever you may be, in a complete interactive way. You don’t need to go to a gym, you don’t need to go to a personal trainer. You can have this experience wherever you are. And more and more, this is what people are starting to expect.

Today, the technology is ready for that. If you compare it with working out at home in the past 20 years, I think we can agree that if you look at the technology now that this is an upgrade in service and experience.

I’ve been talking for a while now about being where the customer is, when it comes to customer experience. But over the past few weeks, I’ve seen so many examples that confirm this evolution that we’re moving into the house and into the context of the customer. So it could be time for you to think about how you can bring your products and services to your customer, if you haven’t already. Because this trend is definitely here to stay.

This article first appeared on Steven's personal blog. Read it and more here.

Steven Van Belleghem
Steven Van Belleghem
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May 25, 2022