Today's customers evaluate a company on the experience that they receive. Oftentimes, the entire sales cycle experience (pre-sales, purchase and post-purchase) is as important to them as the actual product or service. Today's multi-tasking customers are juggling multiple channels at one time, usually on multiple devices. Servicing these customers requires companies to be always alert, frequent the same channels as customers and be consistent in their customer service across channels.
Due to the influence of digital channels and shifting customer loyalties, more and more companies are becoming "customer obsessed." There is a continuous strategizing about how to woo the customer, how to deliver a wow experience every time and how to win trust to gain a larger wallet share.
There are five typical traits that customer-obsessed companies possess, according to Mandeep Singh Kwatra, VP of Solutions and Capabilities and CX Strategy Services Leader of HGS, a leader in business process management (BPM) and optimizing the customer experience lifecycle.
Many companies are bringing a customer experience leadership executive into their C-suite: either a chief customer officer (CCO) or customer experience officer (CXO). These team members will have the requisite knowledge and expertise to make use of customer data and lead transformational CX strategy. Companies talk about how important customer service is to them and are diligent about collecting data; however, the data may be meaningless without a sound strategy for interpretation and reporting.
According to Bain & Company research, increasing customer retention rates by five percent increases profits by 25 percent to 95 percent. Most companies are single-mindedly focused on acquiring more customers and draw up their marketing plans specifically to attract more new customers. What's the cost of customer acquisition compared to retention? There's no definitive answer; however, most sources cite acquisition costs as between four and 10 times more than retention. It's usually less expensive to market to existing customers with a consistent, unified customer experience across channels.
Today, your customers don't reach you by the phone or in person only. They prefer to use digital channels like social media, text, chat and apps, and that is only the beginning. This spectrum is going to grow, with new Internet of Things solutions coming out every year. With so many different communication channels, there are numerous sources where valuable customer information is available. Customer preferences vary with each channel, so it's essential to study and understand data from all sources before making changes. Using data from multiple sources helps you make better predictions about customer needs, predict purchase behavior, and above all, personalize customer experience.
In a digital, customer-centric world, companies may forget to reach out to the customer after a successful sale is complete. It is important for a customer-centric organization to engage with their customers even after they make a purchase and continue to communicate over the longer term. Ongoing communication helps companies to continuously gather customer feedback and learn about changing customer preferences.
Often companies try to solve problems of the past. In fact, the focus should be on how the future will shape tomorrow's optimized CX – how will customers communicate, engage, buy and live. Customer-obsessed companies keep a futuristic outlook to managing their customers not just today but with a view to maintaining the same standard or higher service in the future, too. They are always flexible in accommodating customer needs in their marketing and customer service plans. These companies understand that customer needs do not always align with their own goals. So they factor in room for customer needs when formulating their customer service plans. This may mean bringing in CX experts, such as business process management (BPM) companies, to provide digital roadmaps and customer journey maps, supported by technology implementation expertise.
Ultimately, delighted customers are your greatest marketing, with the best ROI. Refine your CX approach, for a customer obsession that delivers.