Customer Experience Roundup, July 15, 2019

Companies can’t hide behind their brands or clever advertising. Customers want to do business with transparent and authentic companies that don’t try to hide their actions. Trust is the foundation for lasting customer relationships. It’s difficult to build and can easily be broken, but when treated carefully, it can be incredibly powerful. Here are four stories from the week that show the importance of building trust and understanding customers.

Millennials And Gen Z Are Less Optimistic About Future

This week, Deloitte released its Global Millennial Survey of thousands of millennials and Gen Z-ers from around the globe. The survey found that only 55% of respondents think businesses are making a difference, down from 61% last year. Of millennials who plan to leave their current jobs in the next two years, the most common reasons were because they were dissatisfied with the pay and didn’t have enough advancement opportunities. Priorities are changing, as well. The desire to have a family and buy a home dropped further down the list, and 57% of respondents said traveling the world is their top priority.

Millennials and Gen Z are already shaking things up with their fresh perspectives and priorities, and that will continue to grow as they get older. This survey shows that Gen Z tends to go against some of the views of millennials. Even though the two groups are similar in age, they have distinct differences. Millennials and Gen Z are the future leaders of the economy. Companies need to understand their points of view and stay on top of their changing ideas to build strong relationships, especially as their distrust in business grows.

Dealers See Backlog Of SUVs As More Planned To Arrive

Car dealerships used to not be able to hold on to SUVs for long. For a while, they were all shoppers were interested in buying. However, many dealerships are now seeing a backlog of SUVs on their lots as demand slows. Car sales across the U.S. are down 2.2% in the first half of 2019, even after rising 2.1% last year. Those numbers aren’t slowing down SUV manufacturers. According to one report, there are currently 96 models of SUVs on the market, compared to 70 in 2014.

Decreasing car sales impact how dealers market to consumers. The potential backlog of cars shows that customers are changing their priorities. It could open the doors for a great deal for shoppers as dealerships look to get cars off their lots. The move away from SUVs signals a change in what Americans want in their cars and should be noted as new models hit the road.

Pharma Companies Not Required To Include Prices In Ads

A federal judge this week declared that pharmaceutical companies don’t have to include the prices of their medicines in TV and print ads. The planned change was supposed to take effect last week until the last-minute court ruling. The goal of the change was to hold pharmaceutical companies responsible and potentially drive down high drug prices, but the judge said listing wholesale prices could be confusing to customers and discourage them from seeking medical care.

This issue has large political ramifications, but it also highlights the need for transparency with customers. Modern customers want to understand what they are buying and have all the information before they make a decision. The new ruling gives more power to big pharmaceutical companies instead of giving power back to patients.

Marriott Sued Over Resort Fees

Hotel giant Marriott was sued this week by the District of Columbia over its resort fees. The company allegedly got hundreds of millions of dollars by deceiving customers over the true cost of their hotel rooms. Customers would see one price on their booking and then be subjected to a daily resort fee between $9 and $95 at nearly 200 Marriott properties.

Marriott isn’t the only hotel group that adds resort fees to the taxes and fees of its room bookings. Many companies do this to lower the list price of their properties and bring in more customers. However, the questionable practice isn’t fully authentic and could be deceptive to customers. The result of the lawsuit could set the tone for other hospitality companies.

Customers have more power today than ever before. They want to trust companies before they give them business. Building trust and being transparent should be a key component of every company’s culture and customer experience strategy.

Blake Morgan is a keynote speaker, futurist and author of two books, “The Customer Of The Future” and “More Is More.” Sign up for her weekly customer experience newsletter here.

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