Sam Ford explains in the Harvard Business Review Blog what he believes is happening across several companies with the use of a simple example from a home improvement and appliance company in the US. He infers that when customers invest time and effort into a company, they fully immerse themselves in the business and develop a relationship over time with that company. Consequently, customers believe that their relationship entitles them to an experience expectation. He found that companies do not deliver upon this, especially during times of need.
Ford concludes that “companies are better at romancing” their customers than creating long term commitments with them. The deterioration of the relationship between the company and its customers is an issue that affects a large number of companies, and the problem here relates to our last blog post about singular touchpoints. Companies are great at delivering on individual touchpoints but not as great with cumulative customer experiences. In this case, company staff, from the sales to the repair departments, appears to be genuinely interested in helping out. So, why has the experience gone so wrong?
- Companies sometimes forget to update the customer on what is happening as they believe that communicating with the customer is not an important part of the workflow.
- The “infrastructure is designed from the company's perspective rather than the customer's”. This demonstrates a point similar to our last blog post, whereby companies do not create a holistic customer journey that tries to understand the overall experience from different perspectives. They focus on what they perceive as the most valuable individual touchpoints.
- The relationship climax from the company's perspective is measured by sale success. While the point of sale is perceived as a milestone for the customer, companies forget to focus on the customer experience that extends beyond the purchasing moment.
At Proto, we believe that a company has a greater chance of developing a healthy reputation over time if they build continuous and sustainable relationships with their customers. To assist these companies, we analyse, evaluate and incorporate several types of quantitative and qualitative information to create an accurate overview of their customer’s overall experience. It is based on this cumulative experience that together with the companies, we develop customer-centric ideas that will boost loyalty and customer satisfaction. Consequently, we help to shape an ongoing relationship with a strong base of loyal customers that market and positively promote their brand everywhere.
Read the Harvard Business Review Blog article here.