Luxury & customer relations: a necessary ambition
If luxury has to meet many expectations, the customer relations sector is one of the most important. Indeed, beyond the act of buying, today's houses are seeking above all to become "destinations" focused on the experience. But between the health crisis and new relationship models, how has the link between consumers and brands evolved and how are companies innovating to ensure that this link continues?
New expectations and new challenges
A reminder: In 2017, in a market of 262 billion euros, the millennials (born in the 1980's/2000) represented 45% of luxury customers, or nearly one out of every two buyers. Between proximity and exclusivity, instantaneity and durability, a new lexical field is emerging, definitely influenced by a young public. More authentic, more social, more protean, more instinctive ... for these new consumers, the experience now supersedes the product. It is at the very heart of the process, and it must be personalized and multi-channel.
Illustration with Louis Vuitton's luxury flagship, the Place Vendôme in Paris. An inspirational space, a veritable museum-boutique of 1700 m2 on 4 floors, where works of art and Vuitton cigars cohabitate - an immersive experience where an advisor in charge of transmission invites clients to a tailor-made discovery.
The question of experience is therefore at the heart of the relationship, spearheaded by the indispensable question of personalization. Indeed, when excellence is no longer enough, luxury must meet the emotional needs of the consumer. And to achieve this, the consumer must know it, target it and adapt to its habits.
So how do houses innovate to maintain this special relationship?
Between heritage and innovation, the balance is sometimes complicated for the contemporary luxury sector. But in the face of the pandemic and this new relational model, it is adapting, and using the new possibilities offered by digital, to offer increasingly immersive experiences in order to continue to seduce and retain customers.
More simplicity, more speed, more exclusivity, more collaboration...all this is achieved through a customer centric strategy. This approach allows us to better understand, better segment and thus create truly unique and personalized experiences. Virtual reality, connected objects, data, chatbot... so many perspectives that allow luxury to differentiate and assert itself.
As Thibaut de La Rivière, director of Sup de luxe, points out: "Luxury is becoming more accessible and is refocusing on the "human" through innovative and increasingly personalized customer relations, an adaptation that is necessary to continue seducing a young audience and allowing for countless opportunities".
On a more concrete level, today's large houses are betting on freer and more personal relationships between customers (or rather those who are described as privileged guests) and employees, with the desire to develop an atmosphere of closeness and intimacy, often sought after by consumers (even through videoconferencing). Brands also use targeted, ultra-personalized newsletters, always with the aim of turning the act of buying into a true experiential act. Combining proximity, know-how and sharp analysis, luxury seems ready to develop all its assets to strengthen the precious bond that unites it with its customers.