A lack of customer loyalty and customer recommendation is costing business in higher marketing costs, high employee disengagement and low margins.
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 team and customer loyalty
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 think they are performing better than their customer’s think they are.
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.
If business is to grow productivity then this statistic must improve. Employee engagement equals increased productivity and greater customer loyalty.
3) Businesses confuse repeat custom with customer loyalty.
In most cases repeat customers are not coming back because they are loyal. There will be another reason 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 business’s customer experience will be a short-term reactive response and nothing to do with a proactive long-term strategic approach.
6) 80% of businesses lack the knowledge of how to develop and implement a customer experience strategy.
Business still thinks that providing their front-line people with some customer service training will do the trick. Not in 2015 it won’t.
7) 95% of businesses fail to 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 little or no encouragement, to share those ideas.
8) Most businesses are using gimmicks (reward points & coffee cards) to try and grow customer loyalty.
Real customer loyalty is about building relationships not dangling 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 business’s products and services. It will be the value a business can add over and above just providing products and services.
10) 95% of customers can’t remember the last time they had a great customer experience.
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 consistently high quality experience.
11) Most businesses fail to act on workplace & customer survey results.
Gaining feedback from customers is pointless, costly and annoying to customers 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 2015.
The key, Chris Bell suggests, is to realise that in a world of excess, uniformity and repetition, people buy experiences, not products or services. When people feel good about their experience they will not only return, they will tell their friends too.
To turn a financial exchange into a rewarding experience, businesses have to be creative and they have to be fully committed to seeing the world through their customers’ eyes.
Customer Experiences will be facilitating seminars and workshop around New Zealand in 2015 on how to create a customer experience that exceeds customers expectations. www.customerexperiencs.co.nz
– 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.