I recently moderated a panel at the 8th PEI Operating Partners Forum Europe on customer experience for private equity with panellists Gregory Salinger (Apax France), Michael Andrews (Alix Partners) and James Wooley (Endless). Here are my key takeaways from the discussion.
Providing things that people want is the basis of free enterprise. But information asymmetries, market inefficiencies and limited choice can dilute this singular purpose, so that companies have had to keep reminding themselves that ‘the customer is king.’
No longer. The digitisation of markets has connected consumers with millions of other consumers, creating hyper-transparency and instant access to information, sweeping away inefficiencies and barriers, and, in so doing, making the customer truly sovereign.
Combine this with social media networks and the ability to share opinions and rate experiences, and there is nowhere for the cynical or complacent company to hide. Consumers also have a clear idea of what good looks like.
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