In 2019, two sisters – aged only seven and nine years old – collected half a million signatures when petitioning for businesses to stop including plastic toys in children’s meal boxes.
Recognizing the campaign, McDonald’s and Burger King announced that they would take action and accept their demand.
Now, in the UK and France, a Happy Meal only includes soft toys alongside sustainable paper-based toys and books. Moreover, the fast-food giant is phasing out plastic toys across the world, with Burger King taking a similar course of action.
After all, the conscious customer is not only a Western phenomenon spurred on by the “Greta Effect.” The trend is even more pronounced in Latin America and Asia than Europe – according to 2020 Julius Bear Research, likely because of more first-hand experiences with environmental issues.
As such, the conscious customer is a global trend that many businesses must consider as a means to safeguard their revenues.
The Business Impact of the Conscious Customer Is Significant
Consider the following statistics:
- A third of UK adults say they’re willing to spend an average of 25 percent more on sustainable products and services. (Source: Simon-Kucher & Partners)
- 64 percent of consumers reported supporting socially responsible brands. (Source: The Conscious Consumer Spending Index)
- From 2016 and 2021, there was a 71 percent increase in Google searches for sustainable goods. (Source: WWF)
Each year, these statistics rise, surging in the post-pandemic climate.
To capture the value they suggest lies with the conscious customer, diversified exposure is critical. Showcase how the business is improving from an ethical, environmental, and social perspective.
Businesses must also change how they produce existing products, reduce their electricity consumption, and innovate.
Then comes perhaps the most critical course of action: communication. Brands must highlight their efforts to customers – across many mediums – if they wish to significantly bolster their bottom line.
After all, the conscious customer wants to engage with brands that double down on their values and demonstrate their commitment to the causes they care about.
Doing so with a keen focus on products and experiences that attract millennials is likely the best move for companies that wish to increase conscious consumer revenues.
What Role Can the Contact Center Play?
Contact centers can share insights from conscious customers, amplify their voices within the business, and kickstart campaigns. They can become ambassadors for change.
Moreover, a thought-provoking report from Enghouse Interactive suggests that team leaders keep agents up to speed with the business’s sustainability efforts. Doing so enables them to communicate the message to customers in a personal way.
Connecting with agents in this way is an exceptional engagement tool. As Enghouse suggests:
“More aware consumers also make up an increasing part of your workforce. That means demonstrating that you are committed to becoming more sustainable will help you attract and retain your people moving forward.”
Yet, there is much more that contact centers can do. For instance, the report puts forward three further suggestions:
- Embrace the Cloud – By replacing on-premise services, powered by significant amounts of energy, brands can reduce their carbon footprint.
- Use Digital Channels Where Possible – Face-to-face meetings and appointments often require customers to travel. Switching these with digital interactions and video conferencing reduces emissions.
- Stick with Hybrid Work – Remote agent offers businesses the chance to lower on-site emissions while cutting down on those that stem from employee commutes.
Two of these tactics hinge on the cloud. As such, businesses wishing to follow through should consider working with a CCaaS provider that has committed to utilizing renewable energy sources to power their data centers.
Delving Deeper Into the Enghouse Report
Many of the insights included within this article stem from the report “Navigating Change: 5 Key Contact Center Trends to Focus On Now” by prominent CCaaS vendor Enghouse Interactive.
The rise of the conscious customer was one of the trends. Yet, others included:
- Consumers want to be treated with true empathy
- Knowledge is central to customer service success
- Organizations have to do more with less
- Companies must focus on employee experience
Contact center professionals interested in delving deeper into these trends can do so by downloading a free copy of the report here.