Stating that the customer experience is a key differentiator in the competitive marketplace is unlikely to get you into many arguments these days. Numerous studies have shown that true advocates who are vocal about you, your products and their experiences are extremely valuable to your company both in terms of their likelihood to re-purchase and in terms of the referrals that they might make for your company. Conversely, true detractors can be very costly in terms of how they influence their colleagues and friends. Customers who are ambivalent to you are just not loyal and will defect when a better opportunity arises, and may well leave you with a high cost of acquisition that has not been repaid enough by their business to show a profit.
Brand, product and pricing clearly have an impact on customer loyalty too, but the experience that a customer has when contacting you, or being contacted by your organization has a critical impact upon their likelihood to stay and recommend you to others. Key factors in driving a consistent and effective customer experience are:
Addressing these factors cost-effectively, and differentiating the experience based upon factors such as the profitability of a customer or their future potential are important factors to consider in your approach to the customer experience.
Building and maintaining loyalty is a tough challenge even through the traditional channels such as the contact center, branch/local office/store, email, and regular mail where interactions are directly between the customer and the organization. However, in the web and social media world, the level of influence that a customer can exert over others is potentially much greater than was previously the case. Think of a negative post being read by 500 “friends” or “followers”. The way in which you execute your response to a social media interaction will not only impact the experience that the customer who posted the initial response has, but will be watched by many other people and can influence them significantly in terms of their perception of your organization and how well you dealt with the situation.
Due to the clear link between profits and customer loyalty, numerous CEOs have gone on public record stating the importance of the customer experience and how it is a key focus of their strategy. The challenge however is in ensuring that intent is translated into a true customer-focused strategy, and from there, into an operational environment which truly focuses on delivering the right customer experience on all occasions. All too often the program is poorly planned or orchestrated, the business case is not well constructed or articulated, or executive and senior management action seems to defy the articulated focus on the customer. Consequently cost-cutting often claims the customer experience program as its’ victim since its’ benefits are perceived to be less tangible or harder to achieve than some other areas, or it is believed that the organization is not fully behind it.
Given the importance of the customer experience to loyalty, and of loyalty to profitability, it is critical to address the experience that your customers have with you in a structured manner, developing a robust business case to support the required changes.
ThoughtBurst can help you with achieving a number of business objectives in the customer experience area. We can help you:
Our C-SOAR™ method fully supports our customer experience services. Outputs, techniques, approaches during the strategy & assessment (S&A) method component include:
The analyze, design, develop and deploy (A3D) component of the method supports the full lifecycle of a customer experience improvement program from analysis through to deployment.
The C-SOAR™ method is backed by our RCM Model, which provides significant support for the customer experience across all 9 of the channels included within the model
The C-SOAR™ tool supports the method and enables our consultants to capture engagement specific information consistently and effectively.