Top 12 Business Challenges in 2013

There has been plenty of talk lately about the changes businesses will need to make if they are to see growth in 2013

Customer Experiences Managing Director Chris Bell has listed 12 areas that business will need to gain a greater understanding of, if business performance is to improve.

Businesses over the last ten years have struggled to get to grips with the need for a genuine customer focus, a focus that will add greater value from the customer’s perspective. Most businesses are still focused on price as their only competitive advantage with the resulting pressure on margins.

1) 80% of businesses believe their customer experience is superior. Only 8% of customers agreed –Bain & Company survey

Businesses must start listening to their customers and adopt an “outside in” focus rather than a “we think we know it all” attitude.

2) 57% of the NZ workforce is disengaged at work- Right Management Group-

If business is to grow productivity then this statistic must improve. Employee engagement equals increased productivity.

3) Businesses confuse repeat custom with customer loyalty

In most cases repeat customers are not coming back because they are loyal. There will be other reasons like “convenience or price”. Anything other than real loyalty leaves a business wide open to losing customers to a competitor.

4) Business continues to think that a “satisfied customer” is the goal

A satisfied customer is one who has had their expectations met. In today’s competitive economy, nobody raves about a business that has just met their expectations.

5) Most businesses lack a long-term strategic approach to improving their customer experience.

In most cases any improvement in a businesses customer experience will be a short-term reactive response and nothing to do with a proactive long-term strategic approach.

6) Businesses lack the knowledge and expertise to develop and implement a long-term customer experience strategy

Business still thinks that providing their front-line people with some customer service training will do the trick. Not in 2013 it won’t.

7) Very few businesses capitalise on the creativity of their people.

Everyday your people come to work with ideas that will grow your business, and everyday they go home having received no encouragement to share those ideas.

8) Most businesses are using gimmicks (fly buys & coffee cards) to try and grow customer loyalty.

Real customer loyalty is about building relationships not tangling carrots.

9) Most products and services are commodities, leaving price as the only point of difference.

Today’s point of difference will not come from a businesses products and services. It will be the value a business can add over and above just providing products and services.

10) Our results from customer interviews show less than 15 % of customers can remember the last time they had a great customer experience. – Customer Experiences Ltd

Most of the experiences we have as customers are less than memorable. That alone is reason enough to develop a strategy that will deliver a consistent high quality experience.

11) 60% of businesses fail to act on workplace & customer survey results or don’t do any surveying.- Beyond Philosophy research 09

Gaining feedback from customers and employees is pointless, costly and annoying to those taking part, unless improvement, is the result

12) The majority of businesses either don’t have a sustainable competitive advantage or are not actively promoting one.

Continually thinking about and developing competitive advantages must be a business priority in 2013.

– Chris Bell is managing director of Customer Experiences; a company that specialises in helping businesses improve the way in which they interact with customers and clients. Mb 0272792360 www.customerexperiences.co.nz

 

 

 

 

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