From the eyes of your millennial customer (2/4): Diversity of Products & Services

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As a brand loyalist and a customer experience advocate, I’m probably one of your most difficult customers to please. Throw in that I am a millennial who’s a part of the $65 billion market, I hope you are still willing to read this Digital Retail Analysis.

This article is the second out of a four part series about millennial customers’ expectations for Retail. If you have not yet read part one, please view it here: "From the eyes of your millenial customer: Increasing Brand Recognition!" Each article will discuss an expectation and recommendations for aligning your business and IT strategy to meet the desires of your customers using Salesforce. Each customer experience topic is supported by research by Gartner and Forbes.

Expectation 2: Being offered a diversity of products and services.

Gone are the days where you can put customers into singular categories. Millennials embrace our differences, unique qualities, and our global perspective. In fact, we stop following brands that do not respect diversity in today’s world and start supporting new brands who provide products catered to us. We want Retailers to understand our generational, cultural, and local preferences with products fit our distinct needs. Therefore, your products should meet our needs on an individual level. But how do you accomplish that feat when you have so many customers and the Retail market only becomes more competitive each year?

Providing unique products and services by leveraging big data leads to a growth in sales and maximizes your Research & Development budget. Amazon dominates the e-Commerce market by using a variety of customer data points to recommend related products. Some factors include purchases, purchase satisfaction ratings, and similar customers’ buying habits: Entrepreneur.com. Amazon’s “Frequently bought together” feature uses these data points to increase basket size or future purchases.

If you already created 360 Customer Profiles referenced in Article 1, you can use these data points to add new services and products to target existing or new segments and activate new revenue streams. You can also support your global growth strategy by activating customer needs in new markets.

One of the best ways to create innovative products and services is to invest in your people first. Take a close look at your design and development teams, do they reflect the diversity of your customers? Data can begin to tell the story for your Product, Marketing, and Sales teams, but you need the right people to analyze it.

The risk you run when you do not have a diverse team is creating products and advertising that can tarnish your brand’s image and lead customers to buy elsewhere. You do not want to be trending for the wrong reasons. Vanessa Veasley was retweeted over 1,300 times for her comment, “If you hire more black people and cultivate an environment where people on all levels of the company feel comfortable to speak up, incidents like this will be avoided@VanessaVeasley. So, make sure you invest in a diverse team.

Alright, so you have decided to take the first step in cultivating a diverse and inclusive environment that also leverages data to make quantitative decisions. What better way to support your strategy than to fully understand the people side of technology change and implement the Salesforce solutions designed to leverage big data.

There are a few Change Management & Learning techniques I would use in this case. Aligning with your Human Resources or People Manager, consider the current demographics of your staff and how to continue to diversify your team through recruitment. In fact, 47% of millennials agreed that “If [they] were to look for a new job tomorrow, a diverse and inclusive workplace would be important in [their] job search” (Deloitte Millennial Survey). The reality is the majority of talent who are skilled in data analysis also happen to be millennials, so investing in your talent and acquisition strategy will be essential to have the right people with the right skills.

Copyright: Weber Shandwick
Copyright: Weber Shandwick

After balancing your team to include the diverse perspective you’ll need, work with your staff and managers to develop a culture of inclusion. It takes an investment to diversify your teams, and it requires further Change Management to ensure inclusion is a principle of your workplace. For example, consider some Cultural Awareness workshops or Diversity & Inclusion trainings. If you want more information here, please send me a message, as every change process is different given you are working with different people.

Understanding your customer insight data using Salesforce’s Customer 360, Sales Cloud, Marketing Cloud, Data Management Platform (DMP), and Einstein Analytics is a good place to start from a technical perspective. By combining these data sources and aligning your organization’s business units, you can work together to fully understand which products and services your customers can and will buy in the future. Finally, you will have a way to prove that your Marketing targeting is achieving a revenue ROI and your Product team can directly benefit to fund future products.

You can also transform your inclusive organization to use more collaborative innovation methodologies such as agile, design thinking, and DevOps. Used together these three ways of working enable your team to:

  1. Generate features based on user feedback
  2. Break features into smaller, easier to build quickly user stories
  3. Continuously innovate with development and operational best practices
  4. Maximize the ROI of your Salesforce investment

Beyond the employee experience and innovation benefits of Diversity & Inclusion, are the benefits of sharing these beliefs with your partners. Whether you are selling direct to consumer or via a supplier network, making diversity a business priority will not only attract diverse customers but also diverse suppliers and new markets.

If we look at the most innovative, disruptive, and prosperous urban centres in the world – New York, Dubai, London, and Singapore – they all have one thing in common. They are all international melting pots with a high concentration of immigrants: Weforum.org. Just take a look at the diagram below that indicates how companies with above-average diversity scores have a 45% average innovation revenue reported (Boston Consulting Group).

Boston Consulting Group
Boston Consulting Group

So, embedding Diversity & Inclusion in your Customer Experience strategy has proven innovation revenue benefits. There is a lot to do when it comes to building a diverse team that reflects your customers and harnessing big data to support product innovation that creates new revenue streams in the global marketplace. But, I’m happy to help.

Want to learn more about how we can partner to bring your customer to the forefront of your business? Send me a note!

Here are some ways we can partner with you to achieve this vision:

  • Change Management, Customer Experience Strategy, Agile Transformation

Much Gratitude to the Following Authors:

Read the other blogs of the series

  1. From the eyes of your millennial customer (1/4): Increasing Brand Recognition
  2. From the eyes of your millennial customer (3/4): Reward our Loyalty 

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