CEOs need to rejig priorities to be prepared for the millennial customer

Millennial customers today want to experience the happiness of adventure on a day-to-day basis whether it is while on a business trip or simply stepping out to get something to eat

Published: Oct 24, 2017

g_100465_millenial_280x210.jpgBy 2020, India is set to be the youngest country in the world with a 400 million strong millennial population.
Image: Shutterstock


Prioritising customer interests and needs is imperative to gain a competitive edge in a disruptive market. Customer is always the ‘king’ and it’s no different with the millennial customer who is set to dominate in the coming years. By 2020, India is set to be the youngest country in the world with a 400 million strong millennial population. This is all set to bring in further disruption in the market. Today’s highly complex and disruptive market calls for customer-centricity and engagement. To emerge first among equals, organisations must harness the power of millennial talent and keep pace with digital media and technological advancements, and focus more on customer-centric strategies.
 
These are vital for any organisation’s success and long-term sustainability.

Highlights- Getting ready for millennial customers - KPMG India CEO Outlook 2017 report

  • 97 percent CEOs feel a growing responsibility to represent the best interests of the customer
  • 90 percent CEOs today are effective in sensing market signals
  • 75 percent CEOs consider building greater trust among external stakeholders and customers as one of the top three priorities.

Technology needs to be intuitive and innovative as millennials today are on-the-go digital natives who have grown up with smartphones, tablets, e-readers and social media platforms. The need to be connected and instant sharing of information is of prime importance to them. Thus, organisations are placing great emphasis on fostering innovation and simplifying user interfaces, thereby creating a new benchmark of intuitiveness that millennials have come to know as a norm. The KPMG India CEO Outlook 2017 report saw as many as 97 percent CEOs feel a growing responsibility to represent the best interests of the customer. It’s interesting to note that 26 percent of Indian CEOs consider fostering innovation as one of their top strategic priorities for the next three years.
 
Millennial customers today want to experience the happiness of adventure on a day-to-day basis. They view even business travel as an opportunity rather than an encumbrance. The kind of experiences that this generation seeks demonstrates there’s more to it than meets the eye. For example, when millennials eat out they often look for something interesting to explore. This, in turn, has helped in altering local gastronomy (tasting) into something of a quest. Likewise, organisations too must look at personalising and meeting individual needs of customers as today’s competitive disruptive market demands this. The KPMG India CEO Outlook 2017 survey highlights that 20 percent CEOs today find managing high customer expectations for personalised services a challenge.
 
Also, 90 percent CEOs today are effective in sensing market signals. They are understanding their customers better and are not only tweaking their products and services to achieve customer-centricity but also gain their trust. This is imperative, as customers today become brand loyalists based only on the consistency of their pleasant experience. No doubt then that around 75 percent business leaders treat building greater trust among external stakeholders and customers as one of the top three priorities.
 
Thus, in a world of technological advances, it makes sense for organisations to have a comprehensive Information and Communications Technology (ICT) solution in place. A concrete in-house digital system could therefore help hasten instant connecting and sharing of information. To this effect, 65 percent CEOs agree to have aligned their middle and back office processes to front-office operations to reflect a more customer-centric approach.
 
Becoming customer-centric can also pose its own set of challenges like rising inflation, which would mean increased costs. As many as 79 percent of CEOs agree that any increase in inflation means increased costs, thereby it getting passed down to the customers.

This amply shows that getting ready for millennials is all about continuous innovation, personalised services and being responsible for the best interest of the customer. Going forward, Indian CEOs across sectors may have a crucial task of establishing a millennial-centric organisation. This can be done only by being vigilant about the demands and preferences of customers and being armed with innovative business tools to help meet them. An organisation’s success and ability to create a lasting impact on its target audiences could depend to a great extent on its adeptness in building greater trust, sensing market signals and embracing disruption with innovation.

- By Mritunjay Kapur, Partner and National Head, Strategy and Markets, Leader – Technology, Media and Telecom, KPMG in India

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