Posted by Bethany Frank on 20 Dec 2016
Emerging technology and the resulting lifestyle shifts it’s caused have permanently altered commerce and consumer behavior. Cashless payment transactions, same-day delivery, and mobile restaurant orders are all common concepts that did not exist a few years ago. But while much has changed about how consumers and businesses interact with each other, a lot has remained the same.
Modern businesses often find themselves in a transitional phase between the pre-Internet times and a truly digital age. Consider, for example, the coffee machine – every office has one, and it is an essential part of the day for most. Despite the availability of fancy pod-accepting machines, however, many offices simply continue using the same coffee machine they’ve always had; as long as it works, it never gets replaced with something better.
The reality is that much of the corporate world still operates according to the old saying: “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” This adage, although a common piece of advice, neatly summarizes the kind of mentality that hinders innovation. Legacy systems and old habits are difficult to change, but better technology is out there, and consumers are using it.
Ultimately, businesses that fail to keep up with changing times put themselves at risk of losing their customers to competitors who more effectively respond to consumer demand. According to a study by Salesforce Research, 57% of consumers say it’s very important or absolutely critical for companies they purchase from to be innovative, and 70% agree that technology has made it easier than ever before to take their business elsewhere. Furthermore, over 60% of respondents feel that technology is redefining their behavior as customers.
The pressure to modernize technology infrastructure is particularly heavy on the financial sector where quick, innovative startups are successfully tearing into the customer bases – and thereby into the profits – of long-standing financial institutions. As hyper-competitive markets give consumers more freedom of choice, they are going to flock to financial service providers that offer the most speed, convenience, and flexibility.
Just because something works doesn’t mean it can’t be improved. Modernization efforts are a tough undertaking, but a necessary investment for most. Consumers have more options than ever before, making it difficult to retain their loyalty over time. Businesses need to ensure they deliver a customer experience that not only meets modern standards but goes beyond consumer expectations.