There has been a major shift in the business world over the past decade. Businesses are now faced with entirely new challenges, including a changing labor force, pressure to innovate, and an increased focus on technology.
In line with these changes, finance departments have taken on a whole new set of roles. In the past, a business’ accounting and finance team could focus on a limited set of tasks, including financial reporting, budgeting, and so on. Now, however, those working in finance find themselves integrated into other departments and taking on a more active, strategic role.
Changing customer demands is one of the many factors responsible for the shift in a finance department’s organizational role. For an organization to stay competitive, its
Changes in Customer Demands
Customer expectations have never been higher. For many businesses, a large share of their customer base is now comprised of both millennials and members of Generation Z. These customers are highly opinionated, discerning, and tech-focused. How can businesses keep up with these customers’ shifting set of demands?
New Types of Products
One thing that sets millennial and Gen Z customers apart from previous generations is the types of products they’re consuming. It’s not just that businesses have to offer new or different products: they have to offer new types of products altogether. This new product mix includes:
- Subscriptions: The subscription product model is trending with millennial and Gen Z consumers in 2019, and the trend is expected to continue to grow.
- Anything as a Service (XaaS): While subscriptions often feature physical products, there are also non-physical subscription possibilities, including Platform as a Service (PaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS), amongst others.
- Sharing: Customers are now keen on sharing products rather than owning them. Airbnb is one example of a business that focuses on facilitating product sharing amongst customers rather than product purchasing.
- On-demand services: The success of on-demand movies has paved the way for other on-demand services, with the on-demand industry expected to gross more than $57 billion in 2019.
A Focus on Conscious Consumption
Consumers are more socially conscious than ever before, and they want the businesses they patronize to be the same. More and more businesses have taken note and are now allocating resources to promoting Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR).
Cutting Out the Middleman
With the growth of internet marketing, companies can now cut out the middleman and market directly to consumers. This can result in better margins and more control over the supply chain.
Paying via Mobile
In 2017, contactless payments exceeded $150 million globally. This number is expected to grow dramatically, reaching $2 trillion by 2021.
Creating Value for Customers
Retailers can rarely compete with a company like Amazon on price. As a result, we’re seeing an increased focus on adding value for customers in order to retain their business. Customer service and customer experience have therefore become more important than ever.
Finding the Right Tech Partner
Businesses looking to keep up with changing customer demands often partner with external companies, including tech partners. For example, an organization might want to update its CRM system in order to better track customer behavior. If you’re thinking about partnering with a tech solutions company, there are a few things you should look for:
- Dynamic solutions: Choose a company that’s dynamic, agile, and capable of adapting to your business’ needs.
- Insight into customer behavior: Go with a tech company that has a proven track record when it comes to CRM solutions. The right CRM system can dramatically improve your knowledge of customer behavior, leading to improved returns.
- Customer service focused: In 2019, exceptional customer service is an essential part of staying competitive. Choose a tech partner that can help your organization offer better customer service.
Want to learn more about the latest trends in finance?
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