Understanding your customer is the first and most critical step to creating the right customer experiences. Who doesn’t like special treatment? Whether a customer pays $100 or $1 Million, customer expectations are higher than ever. Thanks to social media, word-of-mouth conversations are spreading faster than ever and can make or break your brand. Didn’t United Airlines face major backlash over viral video of passenger being dragged off plane?
It is very important for organizations to create experiences tailor-made for each customer. Every employee should be empowered to provide an exceptional customer experience. This should be in the DNA of the organization and requires unanimous support from all its employees.
In today’s world, focus has shifted to the real-time exchange of information and the connections between people and companies. Companies that advocate for customers create more opportunities to sell a broader range of products and solutions. When companies realize that they need to transition from a focus on satisfaction to loyalty, they will understand the ‘customer advocacy’ imperative that I talked about earlier in my blog.
Customers like to be heard. I honestly feel that companies should engage their customers earlier in the product lifecycle to reap the maximum benefits. Their valuable feedback can add to the company’s bottom line.
Digital Transformation Studies from Forrester and Accenture found that improving the customer experience now matches revenue growth as a top business priority among executives. By 2020, customer experience will overtake price and product as a key brand differentiator, according to Walker Information. Those are powerful indicators of the importance of pleasing customers – at a time when customers increasingly hold all the cards.
The travel, retail, home entertainment, restaurant and services industries have already been transformed by the power of customer recommendations, anywhere/anytime information and the fluid availability of online comparisons. Those industries that have yet to be transformed – including B2B sectors – surely will be.
As customers continue to gain control, delivery of exceptional experiences becomes even more critical to companies’ bottom lines. So friends, please don’t get stuck in policies and procedures. Bending rules for customers is the new way of delivering service.
Happy customers = Happy companies!
Please feel free to ping me with your questions or comments.