There is one question we get asked more than any other when it comes to customers...
..." Why do we need to understand our customers better, when we have been successful for a long time operating the way we have?"
And that is largely true until it's not.
If there's one thing that businesses have learned in recent years, it's that the customer is always right. In a world where digital transformation is rapidly changing the way we interact and do business, organisations must increasingly put the customer at the centre of their operations to maintain their competitive advantage.
In the new world of customer experience, it is no longer good enough for businesses to simply address customer pain points, concerns, needs, etc. They need to create a specialised experience that meets the customer’s needs at every touchpoint.
Digital Transformation and Customer Loyalty
Digital transformation is a top priority for organisations across industries today. One of the key areas of focus for digital transformation initiatives is the customer experience. In the past, businesses have been able to get away with a one-size-fits-all approach to customer experience, but that is no longer the case. Customer satisfaction levels have never been so important to a business. The greatest strength of a business is no longer what they offer but how they offer it.
To meet the needs of today's digital-savvy customers, businesses must personalize the customer experience at every touchpoint. This requires a deep understanding of who the customer is, what they need, and how they want to be contacted. Customer feedback from existing customers is critical for understanding customer loyalty.
Customers stay with companies until they reach a point when they decide enough is enough. If a customer received a poor customer experience whilst engaging with you and your product or service, they will not hesitate to move on to the next business listed on google or social media. And someone else gives them enough of a reason and makes it easy to leave...forever.
Over the last 10-20 years, the leverage has moved from your Business to your Customers. Customers have access to far more relevant information and are exercising their power to decide far more readily than ever before. So what does that mean if you work in a Business with customers?
It means that today you need to better understand your customers far better than before to compete and differentiate your brand from your competitors.
What is a Customer Centric Company?
A customer-centric company is one whose primary focus is on delivering an excellent customer experience. They are obsessed with understanding their customer's needs and wants and then creating solutions that meet or exceed those expectations.
To achieve customer satisfaction, the entire business must be focused on customer centricity. Everyone from the CEO to the front-line employees needs to understand the importance of putting the customer first.
What are the Benefits of Customer Centricity?
A customer centric culture is essential for any organisation that wants to compete in today's marketplace. By putting the customer first, organisations can create a competitive advantage that will help them win new customers but more importantly, makes existing customers happy.
The benefits of customer centricity are clear. Customer centric companies are more likely to retain and attract customers, which leads to increased revenue and profitability. They also tend to be more innovative, agile, and responsive to change. So if you're not already focused on the customer you need to start today!
How to conduct customer research?
It can be difficult to know what customer research methods to use. One of the key tools for improving customer satisfaction is the use of qualitative research methods. Your customer service team can measure customer satisfaction by:
- Using digital customer surveys
- Deploying team members to collect customer feedback,
- Having conversations with current customers to identify pain points
Using this qualitative data you can build a customer journey map that will give your company some valuable insights. This includes your customer satisfaction score, customer lifetime value, the pain points of existing customers, the pain points for potential customers, and the success of current customer support efforts.
How to Promote Customer Centricity?
The key to creating a customer centric culture is to start from the top. The leadership team needs to set the tone for the entire organisation and be committed to making the customer experience a priority. From there, employees need to be empowered to put the customer first in everything they do.
It's also important to have the right technology in place to support a customer centric culture. Technology can help organisations collect and analyse customer data, identify patterns and trends, and make decisions that improve the customer experience.
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform is a good place to start. This allows you to measure and track the success of your customer centric initiatives. By tracking customer satisfaction levels, customer retention rates, and other key metrics, you can ensure that your efforts are making a positive impact on the business.
How can Customer Satisfaction extend your Customer Lifetime Value?
The concept of customer lifetime value (CLV) is simple: the total value of all the money a customer will spend with your company throughout their relationship with you.
What we have observed is that while some customers are extremely vocal, more often than not, customers never say a thing. Eventually, they just get a little too miffed, don't feel valued and one day just up and silently leave.
And with them goes years of revenue that could have easily remained with your organisation had only someone just listened to and responded to what was important to them.
There are so many competing objectives in the execution of our roles. With KPIs that are business-focused, meetings clogging our diaries, managing the differing points of view of senior leadership and trying to gain traction to push change through businesses set up to operate in silos. It can be easy to forget the key role of a business is to help customers achieve something that is of value to them and to deeply understand where that value lies.
Who Have We Helped become a Customer Centric Company?
We helped Transport for NSW, design the Service Experience for the new Sydney Metro. As we approached the project, it would be reasonable to assume that what was most valuable to customers we could have set about how to design and deliver a world-class ‘Metro’ experience that made it easier and more enjoyable to catch the Metro. That also would have been a world-class mistake.
Instead, we applied a Structured Customer Understanding methodology to address the question “How might we design an integrated Metro travel experience that is so easy and engaging to use, it is my first choice every time I want to get around Sydney.”
It took a little time, but some way into conducting research with customers we uncovered that special something which reframed the entire way not only we, but Transport for NSW looked at the development of the Metro experience.
And it was this. People weren’t worried about being able to get to the Metro and catch it to the City. What would determine whether they used it or not and what worried them more was the confidence to know they could get home just as easily. The penny dropped. People would decide on using the Metro on how successful it was in getting them from not door to door, but “Door to Door to Door”. If they were unsure if the Metro could get them home, they wouldn't even catch it all.
The point is, that only by working through a Structured Customer Understanding approach will you uncover that type of compelling insight that transforms the way you look at a business problem.
What is that special something you know that none of your competitors does that will enable you to grow? And if you don’t know what that is, then get in touch with us. We would love to help you uncover it.