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With consumers’ expectations constantly changing, companies are called to meet these transformations and provide superior customer experiences that will generate value. But, how exactly can this be done?
By linking customer experience and value
It’s not an easy task and requires you to invest in an analytical approach and resist the temptation to take things faster and skip this step, because it’s a mistake. You need lots of patience, a structured approach, and discipline. When you successfully establish that link, though, you will get a clear understanding of the things you need to focus on – what your customers consider important, and how to keep their experience stellar.
It is important to:
- Know which customer behaviour creates value for your organisation. Once you have defined that, quantify the economic outcomes of various customer experiences.
- Determine which customer behaviour delivers value in your sector. Create 3-5 hypothesis regarding the outcome measures that do that.
- Investigate the link between customers’ behaviour and their responses in satisfaction surveys. How willing are they to recommend your products/services? Access past survey results and create a customer database that you can then assign an email identifier to link the results of the surveys to the databases to monitor sentiment over time.
- Divide your customer database into 3 groups: satisfied, dissatisfied, and neutral. Use the results of the surveys to analyse these groups of customers over a period of 12-24 months. What can you do to turn dissatisfied customers into neutral ones? The larger the differences among these groups, the more solidly you’ll link to value.
- Look ahead and assess the link to value by analysing the yearly changes in outcome measures for the three groups of customers mentioned before. Then track outcomes per customer segment that matters.
- Look into and understand Net Promoter Score (NPS) and decide if it would be useful in your business.
How to know what your customers consider important
Identifying where you’re falling down and eliminating your pain points is critical to providing an excellent customer experience. Among others, it’ll allow you to know what your customers feel is missing and come forward with innovations that will raise your performance. You can also use the customer-satisfaction analysis mentioned above and concentrate on the issues with the highest payouts.
According to McKinsey research, customer satisfaction focused on the journey, and not the touch points, brings much better economic outcomes. Do your existing surveys cover customer journeys? Add both customer and employee input to expand your customer data set and create a link with operational performance.
Consistency in delivering a great customer journey is also important in creating value. Once you have identified the journeys that are more important to you (e.g. the ones that drive the largest number of sales), you can have a cross-functional team work on improving your performance after creating and accessing a set of points that needs to be addressed. Then think of ways you can improve satisfaction, ensure long-term loyalty and revenues, and reduce the cost to serve.
Finally, and most importantly, being able to identify any open doors for innovation will give you valuable insight as to where you can differentiate from your competitors. This will, in turns, help boost experience and promote brand loyalty.
James Leighton Davis is a Customer Acquisition Consultant, Interim Digital Director and NED, primarily for PE-and-VC-backed companies across B2C, B2B and D2C markets in both the UK and Australia. Further information is available at leightondavis.com.
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