Thinking about your Customers Thinking about You
Paraphrasing the great business guru, Peter Drucker: “the purpose of business is to create and keep a customer” and is achieved through meeting the customer’s expectations.
As the customer is now king, your success will more likely come from being more attentive, more personal and more innovative in acquiring and building trust that turns them into loyal followers.
How do you do this? Ask yourself how well do I interact with them now? Does the value I offer meet their expectations and is it obvious to them? Do I think they think I’m a good person to do business with (or not!).
Yet too many companies, big and small, remain tone-deaf to what their customers are saying which when you think about it, is quite a serious obstacle to understanding what they want – let alone fostering loyalty or combating customer churn. Such deafness in an increasingly competitive and technologically advanced global market is a recipe for business disaster.
Listen to your best customers. What are thinking? Social media, surveys, website responses, sales and customer services feedback, will all help you hear their voice, and becoming much more agile in how your respond can develop a better relationship with customers.
Response times are a good indicator of customer expectation. Responding to phone calls (<1 minute), live chat (<1min) or email (< 1 day) are currently deemed appropriate response times and as time is a precious asset, responding even faster will add more brand value every time you deal with them.
But one good phone experience can be easily destroyed by a bad experience with another person or department as customers measure their experience across their whole journey with you.
Delivering a great customer experience starts within your own organisation, driven by influencing human behaviours. Core is the creation of a strong conviction and understanding in the minds of you and your employees about your roles in delivering a good experience every time for the customer, including yourselves, and for the company as a whole.
Customers like to do business with people like themselves and managing the customer experience is increasingly a strategic imperative to leverage competitiveness – in finding and retaining customers.
Gerry Westwood, Wizard, Cambridge Space. Feb 17 2017